The project investigates conditions for establishing and implementing norms in policy fields where states’ justice and sovereignty claims clash. The focus is on the impact of converging and diverging ideas about morale and justice on the emergence and implementation of global norms in the framework of the United Nations. The key question is whether ideas about justice feed conflict and prevent efforts at governance, or whether it is possible to negotiate towards a converging values with the result of common norms. To what degree, for example, meets the realization of human rights in the security sector resistance by governments if it necessitates the conditioning of sovereignty, and where can we discover emerging universal consensus in related processes of norm generation? While the Responsibility to Protect has been accepted as universal norm at UN level, its application to specific conflicts remains contested. The project content-analyses debates of the UN Security Council and the General Assembly with a view to typologize state positions and to establish a measure of divergence and convergence. We search for a correlation between the types of conflict and the degree of conflict/consensus for its impact on the chance to establish and implement norms in four policy fields.
Results will contribute both to theory-building and to developing practical options. The project aims at developing elements of a theory of empirical universalism which helps to understand better the opportunities as well as limits of conditioning sovereignty on justice grounds. At the same time, the project wants to help develop strategies for negotiations on contested norm-setting and implementation.