Permissive Effects of International Norms: Napalm and the Long Non-Emergence of the Norm Against Cluster Munitions

Addressing the research gap of non-emergence of norms, Elvira Rosert analyzed the prohibition of cluster munitions in her dissertation: Why was this norm adopted only as late as 2008? Drawing on Nina Tannenwald’s idea of permissive effects, Elvira Rosert developed a theoretical model which conceptualizes the non-emergence of certain norms as a permissive effect of other norms, and suggests two mechanisms explaining such effects. The project’s corresponding empirical proposition, that the norm against cluster munitions was subject to permissive effects of the norms against incendiary weapons and anti-personnel landmines, was tested using process tracing and content analysis of several thousand documents in the period between 1945 and 2008.

Project director:
  • Rosert, Elvira