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February 12: Stephanie Limoncelli

Stephanie Limoncelli will present, The Diffusion of International Social Movements: The Role of Early International Voluntary Associations in the Abolition of State Regulated Prostitution in Europe

Leah Halvorson Email LeahHalvorson

If you would like an electronic copy of this paper, please contact Leah Halvorson at


Abstract:  After the rise of an international social movement in the late 1800s, some European states moved quickly away from the regulation of prostitution while others maintained it for longer periods of time.  Why did some countries abolish regulation earlier than others?  Using a comparative-historical approach, I outline the paths toward deregulation in a subset of European countries to determine the influence of international voluntary associations in local contexts and the subsequent affect on states’ organization of prostitution.  The findings highlight the importance of international voluntary associations’ organization, alliances and cultural framings as they operate in local settings and suggest that they affect the form of social movements as well as their outcomes.  International social movement organizations can sometimes reinforce rather than challenge state interests and intra-movement conflicts between organizations can hamper successful outcomes.

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