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Contestation and Constitution of Norms in Global International Relations


  • Date Published: August 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107169524

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About the Authors
  • Antje Wiener examines the involvement of local actors in conflicts over global norms such as fundamental rights and the prohibition of torture and sexual violence. Providing accounts of local interventions made on behalf of those affected by breaches of norms, she identifies the constraints and opportunities for stakeholder participation in a fragmented global society. The book also considers cultural and institutional diversity with regard to the co-constitution of norm change. Proposing a clear framework to operationalize research on contested norms, and illustrating it through three recent cases, this book contributes to the project of global international relations by offering an agency-centred approach. It will interest scholars and advanced students of international relations, international political theory, and international law seeking a principled approach to practice that overcomes the practice-norm gap.

    • Proposes a clear framework to operationalize research on contested norms
    • Illustrates the framework through three up-to-date case scenarios (fundamental rights, torture prohibition and sexual violence prohibition)
    • Will appeal to an interdisciplinary research community including the fields of international relations, international law, global constitutionalism, international political sociology and critical international studies
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is an ambitious and interesting book which examines and theorizes about the different ways in which global norms are subject to contestation  - objected to as well as critically engaged with - by a variety of stakeholders across different settings. The three case studies of UN targeted sanctions (with a focus on the Kadi case), the prohibition against torture (with a focus on the Rumsfeld case) and the prohibition on sexual violence against women during wartime, are rich and detailed. It should be of interest not just for international relations scholars and theorists, but international lawyers too.' Gráinne De Búrca, New York University

    'This book, an exemplar of global international relations, brings a provocative theoretical approach and rigorous methodology to the study of norms and normative change, taking account of local as well as global dynamics, powerless as well as powerful actors. Asking 'whose practices count' and 'who has access' to what types of contestation, Antje Wiener shows how normative change is always constituted in a multilogue among differently situated and unequal stakeholders.' Jacqui True, Monash University, Australia

    At a time when liberal assumptions of community and shared values are under siege and diverse actors compete for influence, Antje Wiener's book on norm dynamics in global international relations couldn't be more topical. Wiener maps out a multi-focus lens for analyzing the processes and actors that account for norm stability and norm change in global affairs. Building on her pioneering work on norms and contestation, and engaging current debates in IR scholarship on practices, norm robustness and actor diversity, she presents an overarching, finely grained framework for understanding local and global co-constitution of norms. Three carefully chosen case studies demonstrate the value of a framework that can focus on multiple sites of engagement, and illuminate when and why different types of norms are generated and re-generated, and whose practices and contestations matter. An important contribution!' Jutta Brunnée, Metcalf Chair in Environmental Law, University of Toronto

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107169524
    • length: 276 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 9 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Whose practices count?
    2. Norms lie in the practice
    3. Normative structures and rules of engagement
    4. Transformative power: framing the co-constitution of normative change
    5. Making fundamental rights a global issue: the Kadi case and contested 'moral responsibility'
    6. Bringing on the torture convention: the Rumsfeld case and contested 'universal jurisdiction'
    7. Putting violence against women during wartime onto the global agenda: Resolution 1325 and the contested 'culture of impunity'
    8. A voice through the practice.

  • Author

    Antje Wiener, Universität Hamburg
    Antje Wiener has held the Chair of Political Science at the Universität Hamburg since 2009. She is a By-Fellow of Hughes Hall, Cambridge and has been a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences since 2011. She has served on boards of several leading academic journals and has been co-founding editor of the journal Global Constitutionalism with Jim Tully. Among her many book publications are three monographs: 'European' Citizenship Practice: Building Institutions of a Non-State (1997), The Invisible Constitution of Politics: Contested Norms and International Encounters (Cambridge, 2008) and A Theory of Contestation (2014).

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