Social Norms

CGJ Director of Global Research, Gerry Mackie, was the originator in 1996 of the idea of applying game-theoretic models of social norms to the problem of harmful practices in global development—at first, on the problem of female genital cutting (FGC). His research and practice has advanced since then with leading African NGO Tostan, UNICEF, with the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and many other researchers and policy-makers around the world. The program has broadened theoretically to include a wide scope of harmful social practices in multiple contexts and at the same time has strongly sharpened the precision of its constructs. It has considerably advanced the topic of how to measure social norms and their change, both in principle and in difficult field settings; has completed and published detailed empirical investigations of the process of norms change in the field; and has conducted numerous trainings for scholars, development practitioners, and students.

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