Peace A. Medie

Oct 17, 2022

Global Norms and Local Action

The Campaigns to End Violence Against Women in Africa

Oxford University Press 2020

In Global Norms and Local Action: The Campaigns to End Violence against Women in Africa (Oxford UP, 2020), Peace A. Medie studies the domestic implementation of international norms by examining how and why two post-conflict states in Africa, Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire, have differed in their responses to rape and domestic violence. Specifically, she looks at the roles of the United Nations and women's movements in the establishment of specialized criminal justice sector agencies, and the referral of cases for prosecution. She argues that variation in implementation in Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire can be explained by the levels of international and domestic pressures that states face and by the favorability of domestic political and institutional conditions. Medie's study is based on interviews with over 300 policymakers, bureaucrats, staff at the UN and NGOs, police officers, and survivors of domestic violence and rape — an unprecedented depth of research into women's rights and gender violence norm implementation in post-conflict countries. Furthermore, through her interviews with survivors of violence, Medie explains not only how states implement anti-rape and anti-domestic violence norms, but also how women experience and are affected by these norms. She draws on this research to recommend that states adopt a holistic approach to addressing violence against women.

Peace A. Medie is an award-winning scholar and a writer. She is associate professor in politics at the University of Bristol. She studies state and non-state actors’ responses to gender-based violence and other forms of insecurity in countries in Africa. She is author of ‘Global Norms and Local Action: The Campaigns to End Violence Against Women in Africa’ (OUP 2020). Her debut novel, His Only Wife, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2020 and a Time Magazine Must-Read Book of 2020. Her second novel, Nightbloom, will be published in June 2023.

Lamis Abdelaaty is an associate professor of political science at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She is the author of Discrimination and Delegation: Explaining State Responses to Refugees (Oxford University Press, 2021). Email her comments at or tweet to @LAbdelaaty.

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Lamis Abdelaaty

Dr. Lamis Abdelaaty is Associate Professor of Political Science at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, and Senior Research Associate at the Campbell Public Affairs Institute. Her book, Discrimination and Delegation: Explaining State Responses to Refugees, was published by Oxford University Press in 2021. Email her at
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