The Link between Contestation and Norm Robustness

New book on international norm disputes published at Oxford University Press

International Norm Disputes: the link between contestation and norm robustness

© Oxford University Press

Inter­national norms, insti­tutions, and the inter­national order itself are inc­reasingly under challenge in vir­tually every policy area – from human rights and global health, through trade and climate change, to arms control and inter­national peace and security law. Inter­national relations scholars have begun to study the effects of norm con­testation, backlash against insti­tutions and courts, and the broader crisis of the liberal inter­national order. Whether con­testation weakens or even strengthens inter­national norms has inspired a lively debate in inter­national relations and international law. Does con­testation always intrinsically weaken norms, or is contestation itself a normative force that reinforces norms in their validity through continuous actuali­zation?

In their newly released mono­graph “Inter­national Norm Disputes: The Link between Con­testation and Norm Robust­nessLisbeth Zimmermann, Nicole Deitelhoff, Max Lesch, Antonio Arcudi, and Anton Peez explore how the dispute over inter­national norms affects their validity. The book compares four contemporary cases of contested norms – the torture prohibition, the respon­sibility to protect, the moratorium on commercial whaling, and the duty to prosecute insti­tutionalized in the Inter­national Criminal Court – and two historical cases – priva­teering and the tran­satlantic slave trade.

The book is the result of the project “Norm Disputes: Con­testation and Norm Robust­ness”, which was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).