Norm collisions in the issue area of international drug control, 18. Juni 2019


Vortragsreihe Menschenrechte & Europa / Human Rights & Europe: Vortrag von Dr. Sassan Gholiagha (Research Fellow, WZB Berlin Social Science Center)

18. Juni 2019, 19.00 Uhr in P 302

This talk addresses collisions between norms as a set of intersubjective understandings and expectations for the appropriate behaviour of actors, which may but need not to be formalised or legalised. In doing so, we widen the focus  o the regime complexity literature in International Relations (IR) and the fragmentation literature in International Law (IL) with their narrower conceptualizations of norms (or related concepts, such as rules). We offer an intersubjective and agency-oriented conceptualisation of norm collisions: norm collisions capture situations in which actors perceive and articulate incompatible normative expectations regarding appropriate behavior in a specific situation. Furthermore, we argue that a collision between norms needs to be activated by actors. Otherwise, it does not become  visible. In other words: norms cannot collide by themselves; actors have to bring them into collision by applying two norms to the same situation. Our concept of norm collision, we claim, has tremendous potential for a better understanding and richer analysis of normative evolution in specific fields of global governance. Following our conceptualisation of norm collisions, we outline a methodological framework for their analysis and also demonstrate how collisions come about. We illustrate our claims by studying norm collisions in the issue area of international drug control.