In this article, we draw on insights from the interactionist perspective in sociology and international relations (IR) norm contestation literature to explore the relationship between deviance and normative change in international politics. In IR, this is still largely unexplored territory: we already know a great deal about how norms change, yet we know much less about the actual role norm violations play in this process. In order to address this gap, we conceptualize three types of normative contestation and affirmation that take place in connection with deviance (re)construction: (1) applicatory contestation and affirmation, reconstructing the meanings of international norms; (2) justificatory contestation and affirmation, challenging and reaffirming the legitimacy of international norms; and (3) hierarchical contestation and affirmation, contesting and reaffirming the relative value and importance of international norms. We discuss how, as a consequence of these dynamics, deviance-making produces both stability and change in the normative structure of world politics.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/09557571.2018.1549021, hdl.handle.net/1765/114149
Journal Cambridge Review of International Affairs
Citation
Smetana, M., & Onderco, M. (2019). Bringing the outsiders in: an interactionist perspective on deviance and normative change in international politics. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 1–21. doi:10.1080/09557571.2018.1549021