Measuring Norms and Normative Contestation: The Case of International Criminal Law

Journal of Global Security Studies, vol. 4, p. 18, 2019

U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 19-13

54 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2019

See all articles by Beth A. Simmons

Beth A. Simmons

University of Pennsylvania

Hyeran Jo

Texas A&M University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

One way to tell if an international norm is robust is to assess the breadth of its support from a wide variety of important actors. We argue that to assess norm robustness, we should look at the general beliefs, rhetorical support, and actions of both primary and secondary norm addressees (states and non-state actors) at various levels: international, regional, domestic and local. By way of example, we evaluate the robustness of international criminal law (ICL) norms by looking at the rhetoric and actions of a diverse set of international actors, including not only states and intergovernmental organizations but also ordinary publics, rebel groups, and non-governmental organizations. Assessing evidence of norms beyond states leads us to conclude that the core ICL norms are robust but their practical and institutional applicability are still contested. Contestation over applicability is important and there are hints that it is growing, at least among some key actors, suggesting the possibility of ICL norm decay.

Keywords: norms, international criminal law, international humanitarian law, International Criminal Court, security and human rights, public opinion

Suggested Citation

Simmons, Beth A. and Jo, Hyeran, Measuring Norms and Normative Contestation: The Case of International Criminal Law (2019). Journal of Global Security Studies, vol. 4, p. 18, 2019; U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 19-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3344717

Beth A. Simmons (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

3501Sansom
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
7817990076 (Phone)

Hyeran Jo

Texas A&M University - Department of Political Science ( email )

College Station, TX 77843-4353
United States

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