"Rogue States", "Outlaws", and "Pariahs": Dissidence Between Delegitimization and Justification
With the end of the Cold War, and accelerated by the quickening pace of globalization, international politics have become an area characterized by chains of overlapping conflict. These have taken place both between state and non-state representatives of a dominant world order with various forms of public opposition. When such opposition is directed towards a world order and its central norms and institutions that are taken to be imposed, when it renounces the dominant rules of game, and when it chooses unconventional forms of organization and articulation, it becomes a matter of dissidence.
Dissidence as a social construction
The project “Rogue states, outlaws, and pariahs" investigates dissidence as a social construction within the opposing poles of an ascription of the other (as criminal) and self-description (as political). The research focus lies on how radical dissidence is dealt with and on the conditions under which governmental or non-governmental representatives of dissident conceptions either succeed in gaining recognition or come to be discredited as rogues, outlaws or pariahs. By focusing on questions about the recognition of (normative) concepts of order and the categorization of (alleged) dissidence within the power context, this overarching project directly relates to current debates about justice within international politics as well as to this PRIF research department.
Manifestations and categorizations of dissidence
In analyzing both the delegitimization and justification of dissident actors within an existing power context, the project aims at contributing to critical perspectives within International Relations. A comparative study of the various developments and constellations of actors intends to shed light on the differing forms in which dissidence manifests itself as well as on the divergent outcomes resulting from conflicts over normative orders. A consideration of the criminalized articulation of radical and deviant conceptions of order is particularly suitable for gaining insights into developing a normative categorization of dissidence within international politics.
The individual case studies investigate various forms of international dissidence – cases in which formerly recognized and norm-protected practices suddenly become delegitimized, or opposite cases in which delegitimization leads to partial acceptance or an apparent arbitrary stigmatization, and thus delegitimization, of dissent actors. Our cases studies comprise of:
- The debate over generic drugs in reference to the norm of public health vs. the right of patent protection;
- The seemingly arbitrary stigmatization of “rogue states” in security policy;
- The stable asymmetric power relation between delegitimization and justification in the case of criminalizing certain forms of migration;
- The shift from legitimization to delegitimization of national liberation movements.
This project has been funded by the German Research Foundation for a period of four years.
- Delegitimisation à la Carte: The ‘Rogue State’ Label as a Means of Stabilising Order in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime | 2017
Wunderlich, Carmen (2017): Delegitimisation à la Carte: The ‘Rogue State’ Label as a Means of Stabilising Order in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime, in: Gertheiss, Svenja/Herr, Stefanie/Wolf, Klaus-Dieter/Wunderlich, Carmen (eds), Resistance and Change in World Politics. International Dissidence, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 143–186.
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