Mapping Blind Spots in International Relations Norms Research

Annual Conference of the GGS – Giessen Graduate Centre for Social Sciences, Business, Economics and Law

(University of Giessen)

Central Building of Giessen University

Central Building of Giessen University. Photo: Stephan Mosel | CC BY 2.0

International Relations norms research has developed a signifi­cant body of know­ledge on the question of how norms affect inter­national relations. It has estab­lished approaches in IR that do not only take material or rational interests into account, but also the impli­cations, meanings and effects of ideas, norms and identities. It shows how norms matter in inter­national relations, how they come into exis­tence and change over time. Even though IR norm research has estab­lished a geographical focus both in the global North and the global South, the substantial focus of the norms being discussed often lies on liberal or so-called Western norms, or on norm entre­preneurs who promote Western or liberal standards of appropriate­ness in an inter­national context. Accordingly, a critical strand of norms research has developed over the past years, criticizing an overly "Euro-centric" or "Western-centric" pers­pective, and encom­passing a broader under­standing of norms as processes rather than fixed entities. It contributes to the further development of IR norms research, which is not only limited to norms as the object of re­search, but also takes the position of the research­er and the larger context of norms into account. This approach requires going beyond a simple "good vs. bad" distinction of norms, and to develop a more in-depth under­standing of the standards and models that serve as yard­sticks for the evaluation of norms and normative orders.

Registration: The conference welcomes interested participants (limited places available). Please register no later than November 22nd with Falk.Ostermann @sowi.uni-giessen .de.

Date: 2nd – 3rd December 2019
Place: Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Main building, Ludwigstr. 23, room 315


The conference is convened by:
GGS section “Norms and Changes in Global Politics”
in cooperation with
DVPW thematic group “IR Norms Research”
Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (ISFH)
Institute of Political Science (University of Duisburg-Essen)
Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF)