Naming and Praising in Humanitarian Norm Development

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Abstract

To examine the early development of humanitarian norm cascades, the author focuses on the processes that led to the adoption of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions. Even though major military powers like the United States, Russia, and China opposed these initiatives, the latter set in motion quick norm cascades that brought about international legal norms stigmatizing land mines and cluster munitions. It is conventionally asserted that international norms emerge either due to great power backing or despite great power opposition, but the author argues that new norms can also take off because of great power opposition. When ngos and leading states actively foster normative change, a particular type of norm cascade is engineered - one generated by different mechanisms and starting earlier than postulated in the literature. Early norm cascading is driven not by emulation of peers and ngo naming and shaming of laggard states, but rather by leadership aspirations and naming and praising.

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Petrova, M. H. (2019). Naming and Praising in Humanitarian Norm Development. World Politics, 71(3), 586–630. https://doi.org/10.1017/S004388711800031X

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