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SPP 463

Author: David J. Galbreath and Joanne McEvoy
Description: The key research question here concerns the role of an epistemic community in developing the European minority rights regime and its impact on policy. In particular, do different actors have variable influence within it and does a potential hierarchy of members matter? We investigate the role of experts within the European Union, the OSCE and the Council of Europe, who constitute this epistemic community. Theoretically, we identify a hierarchy of members within the epistemic community, due to the outcome of experts’ variable leverage on minority rights protection relating to expertise, institutional mandate, and constraints from states. We also consider consensual knowledge within an international regime. Rather than requiring a widespread consensus about the nature of the political problem, we argue that epistemic consensus may be found in a shared policy purpose and a set of standards to tackle the respective challenges. Empirically, we investigate the impact of the epistemic community on the regime via standard-setting, standard implementation and the expansion of standards on minority rights.

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Postal Address:    CSPP Publications, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, G1 1XQ, UK

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland