New book: The Invisible Constitution of Politics

A new book on Cambridge University Press explores the contested meanings of norms in a world of increasing international encounters. Antje Wiener argues that cultural practices are less visible than organisational practices, but are constitutive for politics and need to be understood and empirically ‘accounted’ for. The author is member of RECON's WP 6 - The Foreign and Security Dimension.

 

The Invisible Constitution of Politics: Contested Norms and International Encounters

Antje Wiener, Cambridge University Press, 2008

 

As social practices now frequently extend beyond national boundaries, experiences and expectations about fair and legitimate politics have become increasingly fragmented. Our ability to understand and interpret others and to tolerate difference, rather than overcome diversity, is therefore at risk. This book focuses on the contested meanings of norms in a world of increasing international encounters. The author argues that cultural practices are less visible than organisational practices, but are constitutive for politics and need to be understood and empirically ‘accounted’ for. Comparing four elite groups in Europe, Antje Wiener shows how this invisible constitution of politics matters. By comparing individual interpretations of norms such as democracy and human rights, she shows how they can mean different things, even to frequently travelling elite groups.

The Book

  • Addresses the problem of norms and the way they are interpreted from an international relations theory perspective
  • Explores how norms work and discusses their impact on politics in contexts beyond the level of the state
  • Argues that diversity should be maintained rather than overcome so as to warrant legitimate governance beyond the state

 

A book launch will be held at the University of Bath on 14 October 2008.


See more at the publisher's website.

07.10.2008