DOI: 10.5176/2251-2403_PSSIR13.43

Authors: Tristan Galloway


This paper reviews the literature assessing state influence over, or acceptance of, the structure and conduct of global governance. It argues that existing approaches largely adopt a simple, dyadic analysis of states as either norm-makers or norm-takers. While there are benefits to this parsimonious approach, the dyadic norm-maker/taker analytical framework almost entirely focuses on outcomes - whether or not states have the material or ideational power to reshape global governance - and downplays the importance of motive. This limits the depth of knowledge gained from such analyses and reduces their usefulness in predicting states' likely future norm-maker/taker status. The paper argues that the norm-maker/taker framework can be improved by supplementing it with a preliminary analytical step: determining the political roles states adopt towards global governance arrangements over time and across specific governance issues. This enables the identification of satisfied and unsatisfied norm-makers/takers, as well as the degree of any such satisfaction; allowing greater depth in understanding of states' ultimately structurally constrained norm-maker/taker status and increasing the certainty with which this status can be predicted to change as structural circumstances vary. The paper develops these arguments by examining the existing norm-maker/taker framework - identifying limitations with it and previous efforts to redress them - before outlining the proposed addition of a preliminary analytical step focused on states' political roles. It then provides a brief case study to illustrate how the improved framework can be employed, along with a brief discussion summarizing the benefits of this modified approach.

Keywords: global governance, norm-maker, political roles, China, global Internet governance

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