On 20 November 2018, the European Neighbourhood Policy Chair organized a special lecture by Dr Adam BOWER (Co-Director of the Centre for Global Constitutionalism at University St Andrews and Visiting Fellow at the ENP Chair at College of Europe in Natolin) entitled "Norms Without the Great Powers" based on his book of the same name.
Can multilateral treaties succeed in transforming conduct when they are rejected by the most powerful states in the international system? In the past two decades, coalitions of middle-power states and transnational civil society groups have negotiated binding legal agreements in the face of concerted opposition from China, Russia, and – most especially – the United States. These instances of a so-called 'new diplomacy' reflect a deliberate attempt to use the language of international law to bypass great power objections in establishing new global standards. Yet critics have frequently derided such treaties as utopian and counter-productive because they fail to include those states allegedly most capable of effectively managing complex international cooperation. Thus far no study has offered a systematic, comparative study of the promise, and limits, of multilateralism without the great powers. "Norms Without the Great Powers" addresses this gap through the presentation of a novel theoretical account and detailed empirical evidence regarding the implementation of two archetypal cases, the antipersonnel Mine Ban Treaty and International Criminal Court. Both treaties have substantially reshaped expectations and behaviour in their respective domains, but with important variation in the extent and breadth of their impact. These findings provide the impetus for assessing the prospects for similar strategies on other topics of contemporary global concern. This book offers a timely addition to the dynamic and growing literature on the practice and consequences of international governance and should appeal to academics, civil society experts, and foreign policy practitioners working in fields such as security, human rights, and the environment.
Dr Adam BOWER is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the School of International Relations, University of St Andrews, where he serves as Co-Director of the Centre for Global Constitutionalism and on the Steering Committee of the Institute for Legal and Constitutional Research. From 1 July to 31 December 2018 he is a Visiting Scholar at the College of Europe Natolin campus in Warsaw, Poland. Previously, Dr Bower was a SSHRC Canada Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations and Non-Stipendiary Research Fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford (2013-15), and a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy (2012-13). He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.