Defending International Norms: The Role of Obligation, Material Interest, and Perception in Decision Making

  title={Defending International Norms: The Role of Obligation, Material Interest, and Perception in Decision Making},
  author={Richard K. Herrmann and Vaughn P. Shannon},
  journal={International Organization},
  pages={621 - 654}
States defend norms in some cases but not in others. Understanding this variation sheds light on both U.S. foreign policy and the role of normative reasoning. We report the results of four experiments embedded in a survey of U.S. elites. The experiments identified the effects of felt normative obligation (that is, the logic of what is appropriate) and concern for U.S. economic and security interests (that is, the logic of utilitarian consequence) as well as the role played by individual… 
Due Deference: Cosmopolitan Social Identity and the Psychology of Legal Obligation in International Politics
Abstract Why are some politicians guided by a sense of obligation toward international law but others are not? Why do some politicians have a social as opposed to an egoistic preference over
Leadership Style and International Norm Violation: The Case of the Iraq War
We examine the topic of decision making and norm violation in international politics. While constructivists emphasize norm conformity due to global social pressures, and realists emphasize the ease
Normative Power Europe through trade: Vietnamese perceptions
This article considers the perception of Normative Power Europe (NPE) through the eyes of Vietnam, measuring the degree to which an actor can successfully pursue a normative foreign policy. This
Norms, interests and humanitarian intervention
A number of constructivist and English school scholars have investigated the extent to which humanitarian intervention is allowed and legitimized by international society. In other words, they have
How International Law Obligates: International Identity, Legal Obligation, and Compliance in World Politics
All political leaders represent the political authority of the state and are committed to state sovereignty. Yet some are also moved by a sense of perceived international legal obligation and defer
Commanding Support: Values and Interests in the Rhetoric of Alliance Politics
ABSTRACT How can democratic governments convince their citizens to support a costly military alliance? We theorize about two rhetorical tools that foreign policy leaders have historically used to
Judge and executioner: the politics of responding to ethnic cleansing in the balkans
The problems of enforcing human rights norms in a world between the “state of nature” and the "collective bodies” of the UN system are explored, which are a recipe for paralysis or unilateralism.
A Clash of Norms? How Reciprocity and International Humanitarian Law affect American Opinion on the Treatment of POWs
Reciprocity is one of the oldest principles of warfare, but humanitarian norms embedded in international humanitarian law (IHL) prohibit reciprocity over various wartime acts. When it comes to the
Public Opinion and the Democratic Peace : An Experimental Investigation
One of the most striking findings in political science is the democratic peace: the absence of war between democracies. Some authors have attempted to explain this phenomenon by highlighting the role
Moral Support: How Moral Values Shape Foreign Policy Attitudes
Although classical international relations theorists largely agreed that public opinion about foreign policy is shaped by moral sentiments, public opinion scholars have yet to explore the content of


Which norms matter? Revisiting the “failure” of internationalism
International relations theorists have in recent years shown an interest in international norms and rules not equaled since the interwar period. This contemporary literature is, of course, quite
Global prohibition regimes: the evolution of norms in international society
The dynamics by which norms emerge and spread in international society have been the subject of strikingly little study. This article focuses on norms that prohibit, both in international law and in
International Norm Dynamics and Political Change
Norms have never been absent from the study of international politics, but the sweeping “ideational turn” in the 1980s and 1990s brought them back as a central theoretical concern in the field. Much
Norms Are What States Make of Them: The Political Psychology of Norm Violation
I examine why states violate norms they embrace as members of international society. The rationalist answer, that norms are violated whenever they conflict with interests, is underspecified and
Culture Clash: Assessing the Importance of Ideas in Security Studies
  • M. Desch
  • Sociology
    International Security
  • 1998
I Cultural theories have long enjoyed a prominent place in the field of international security. Indeed, two waves have come and gone since the start of World War 11, and we are now at the high
The Institutional Dynamics of International Political Orders
The history of international political orders is written in terms of continuity and change in domestic and international political relations. As a step toward understanding such continuity and
Faces of Internationalism: Public Opinion and American Foreign Policy
In Faces of Internationalism, Eugene R. Wittkopf examines the changing nature of public attitudes toward American foreign policy in the post-Vietnam era and the role that public opinion plays in the
Neoclassical realism and theories of foreign policy
Although international relations theory has been dominated for two decades by debates over theories of international politics, recently there has been a surge of interest in theories of foreign
The constructivist turn in international relations theory
In recent years, constructivist thinking about global politics has brought a breath of fresh auto international relations. By exploring questions of identity and interest, constructivist scholars
Foreign Policy Analysis Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
The catalytic shock of the end of the Cold War and the apparent inability of international relations (IR) theory to predict this profound change have raised questions about how we should go about