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Vol 23 No 3 March/April 2018

Book of the Month

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Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

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Implementation and World Politics: How International Norms Change Practice

Edited by: Alexander Betts, Phil Orchard

ISBN13: 9780198712787
Published: July 2014
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £69.00

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A significant amount of International Relations scholarship examines the role of international norms in world politics. Existing work, though, focuses mainly on how these norms emerge and the process by which governments sign and ratify them. In conventional accounts, the story ends there.

Yet, this tells us very little about the conditions under which these norms actually make any difference in practice. When do these norms actually change what happens on the ground? In order to address this analytical gap, the book develops an original conceptual framework for understanding the role of implementation in world politics. It applies this framework to explain variation in the impact of a range of people-centred norms relating to humanitarianism, human rights, and development.

The book explores how the same international norms can have radically different effects in different national and local contexts, or within particular organizations, and in turn how this variation can have profound effects on people's lives. How do international norms change and adapt at implementation? Which actors and structures matter for shaping whether implementation actually takes place, and on whose terms? And what lessons can we derive from this for both International Relations theory and for international public policy-makers?

Collectively, the chapters explore these themes by looking at three different types of norms - treaty norms, principle norms, and policy norms - across policy fields that include refugees, internal displacement, crimes against humanity, the use of mercenaries, humanitarian assistance, aid transparency, civilian protection, and the responsibility to protect.

Public International Law
1. Introduction: The Normative Institutionalization-Implementation Gap

2. From Persecution to Deprivation: How Refugee Norms Adapt at Implementation
3. Transnational Advocacy and Accountability: From Declarations of Anti-Impunity to Implementing the Rome Statute
4. The Unimplemented Norm: Anti-Mercenary Law and the Problems of Institutionalization
5. International NGOs and the Implementation of the Norm for Need-Based Humanitarian Assistance in Sri Lanka

6. Implementing a Global Internally Displaced Persons Protection Regime
7. Implementing the 'Responsibility to Protect': Catalyzing Debate and Building Capacity
8. China as a Global Norm-Shaper: Institutionalization and Implementation of the Responsibility to Protect
9. Peacekeeping in the Congo: Implementation of the Protection of Civilians Norm

10. Engineering Policy Norm Implementation: The World Bank's Transparency Transformation
11. From Principle to Policy: The Emergence, Implementation and Re-Articulation of the Right to Post-Conflict Property Repossession
12. The Implementation of 'Integrated Approaches' in the UN System: Lessons from Tanzania and Burundi
13. Institutionalizing and Implementing the Disaster Relief Norm: The League of Red Cross Societies and the International Relief Union
14. Status Determination and Recognition
15. Conclusions: Norms and the Politics of Implementation