Norm Disputes: Contestation and Norm Robustness

Is it possible for norms to collapse? Or do they simply change in form over time? These questions have garnered increasing attention in recent years. The liberal optimism from the 1990s, which assumed that fundamental norms had established themselves around the globe following the end of the Cold War, have seen themselves lastingly thrown into doubt in recent years. Even the most basic human rights norms have not been spared from attacks: conflict repeatedly erupts over international norms such as the ban on torture or the international responsibility to protect.

Contestation: A means of strengthening or weakening norms?

Research on the effects that conflict has on the robustness of norms, and whether contestation leads to their strengthening or weakening, has been equally contested as the norms themselves. While one theory posits that contestation intrinsically weakens norms, a competing theory identifies a normative force behind contestation that can strengthen the validity of norms through their continuous actualization.
The research project “Norm Disputes: Contestation and Norm Robustness” investigates which conditions lead norms to either be weakened or strengthened. We follow how processes of contestation unfold for four sets of highly disputed norms (the international responsibility to protect, the International Criminal Court, the ban on torture, the ban on commercial whaling) and contrast them with two cases in which norms completely eroded (slavery and privateering).
 

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Norms under Challenge: Unpacking the Dynamics of Norm Robustness | 2019

Deitelhoff, Nicole/Zimmermann, Lisbeth (2019): Norms under Challenge: Unpacking the Dynamics of Norm Robustness, in: Journal of Global Security Studies, 4:1, 2-17, https://academic.oup.com/jogss/article/4/1/2/5347906.

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Unlocking the agency of the governed: contestation and norm dynamics | 2018

Zimmermann, Lisbeth/Deitelhoff, Nicole/Lesch, Max (2018): Unlocking the agency of the governed: contestation and norm dynamics, in: Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, 1–18, DOI: 10.1080/23802014.2017.1396912.

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5
More for Less: The Interactive Translation of Global Norms in Postconflict Guatemala | 2017

Zimmermann, Lisbeth (2017): More for Less: The Interactive Translation of Global Norms in Postconflict Guatemala, in: International Studies Quaterly, DOI: 10.1093/isq/sqx044.

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Praxistheorien und Normenforschung in den Internationalen Beziehungen – Zum Beitrag der pragmatischen Soziologie | 2017

Lesch, Max (2017): Praxistheorien und Normenforschung in den Internationalen Beziehungen – Zum Beitrag der pragmatischen Soziologie, in: diskurs, 1–23, www.diskurs-zeitschrift.de/(...).

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7
Der Internationale Strafgerichtshof auf der Anklagebank | 2016

Arcudi, Antonio (2016): Der Internationale Strafgerichtshof auf der Anklagebank, HSFK-Report Nr. 11/2016, Frankfurt/M.

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8
Die Responsibility to Protect im Kreuzfeuer der Kritik | 2016

Arcudi, Antonio (2016): Die Responsibility to Protect im Kreuzfeuer der Kritik. Zum Zusammenhang von Normkontestation und Normerosion, in: Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen, 23:2, 78–111, DOI: 10.5771/0946-7165-2016-2-78.

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9
Between Banyans and battle scenes | 2016

Wolff, Jonas/Zimmermann, Lisbeth (2016): Between Banyans and battle scenes. Liberal norms, contestation, and the limits of critique, in: Review of International Studies, 42:3, 513–534, DOI: 10.1017/0260210515000534.

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10
Nur ein Feigenblatt? | 2014

Lesch, Max (2014): Nur ein Feigenblatt? Deutschlands langer Weg zur Ratifikation der UN-Konvention gegen Korruption, HSFK-Standpunkte Nr. 7/2014, Frankfurt/M.

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Donors

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
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