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Norms and Rules in International Politics

Rules and norms are quintessential for the reproduction of the international order. This cluster is particularly concerned with how formal and informal institutional actors enact particular sets of rules and norms, whether through regulation, enforcement, monitoring, localization, appropriation or contestation. We further explore the strategies employed by institutional actors to challenge dominant normative arrangements. In so doing, members of the group draw on different vantage points, whether in terms of global, regional, transnational or private actors and arenas.

The cluster is eclectic in its approach and employs a variety of different theoretical and methodological perspectives. The geographic range of our research covers cases in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. Current interests within the group range from the transformation of the dominant legal order and the emergence of a new “postnational” law that transcends the national and international, the role of regional organizations in shaping national and subnational policy making, to the local contestation of postconflict state-building norms. Members of the cluster also investigate the evolution of normative contestation in the EU and examine the formal and informal rules that shape EU foreign policy responses—including how to regulate conflict minerals, deal with secessionist movements, engage with states in the immediate European neighborhood, and act in cohesive manner vis-à-vis international organizations.

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