Extant work on status attribution has largely focused on major powers or state capabilities as key explanatory factors driving these social processes and suggests that status considerations increase conflicts between states. We argue for a more comprehensive approach to status attribution that considers international norms as another major factor that is weighed in the attribution process. We contend that states (policymakers) evaluate one another not only on the basis of economic and military capabilities but also on the extent to which there is behavioral conformance with normative expectations and reward one another dependent upon whether these expectations are met. However, this attribution of status is dependent upon the level of contestation pertaining to that norm. Using a data set that assesses consistency with six different norms (resource transference, multilateralism, economic liberalism, democratic governance, respect for human rights, and peaceful dispute resolution), we find that status attribution is associated with norm-consistent behavior but only when these norms are uncontested at the global level.
Norms, behavioral compliance, and status attribution in international politics
Miller, J. L., Cramer, J., Volgy, T. J., Bezerra, P., Hauser, M., & Sciabarra, C. (2015). Norms, behavioral compliance, and status attribution in international politics. International Interactions, 41(5), 779-804. https://doi.org/10.1080/03050629.2015.1037709
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