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Implementation and World PoliticsHow International Norms Change Practice$
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Alexander Betts and Phil Orchard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198712787

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198712787.001.0001

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From Principle to Policy

From Principle to Policy

The Emergence, Implementation, and Rearticulation of the Right to Post-Conflict Property Repossession

(p.195) 11 From Principle to Policy
Implementation and World Politics

Miriam J Anderson

Oxford University Press

The development of the norm of post-conflict property repossession has unfolded in three major phases. The first phase—“initial norm institutionalization”—based on general principles of human rights can be found between 1945 and the end of the Cold War. It included the first calls for those displaced due to conflict to return to their pre-war homes. The cooperation in the Security Council, post-Cold War, allowed UN involvement in post-conflict reconstruction. The creation of a number of property repossession regimes ensued. These implementation attempts—marking phase two of the norm—exposed a number of difficulties of large-scale repossession as well as disparities in implementation across cases. The establishment of the 2005 United Nations Principles on Housing and Property Restitution for Refugees and Displaced Persons (the Pinheiro Principles) marked the third phase—“informed institutionalization”—which has provided a clearer articulation of the right to repossess property following conflict and specifies mechanisms to improve its implementation.

Keywords:   human rights, norm evolution, norm implementation, population displacement, population expulsion, post-conflict reconstruction, property repossession, refugees, state-building

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