Rising powers as norm agents: China, India and the responsibility to protect

Research output: Working paper


What explains rising powers' approach to addressing emerging norms that challenge the ontological security of the state (i.e. new norms that challenge state abilities to control territory)? To address this broad question, I use a controlled comparison of two rising powers especially concerned about state sovereignty, China and India, as they grapple with the emerging responsibility to protect norm. The manuscript traces these states' responses to the responsibility to protect from the inception of the norm through its application to the landmark Libya case, where the norm's application was adjudicated by both rising powers as UN Security Council members. I find that China and India only briefly engaged as norm antipreneurs, before diverging in their normative roles: China assuming the role of a creative resister and India the role of the norm begrudger. These divergent responses can be explained by understanding these rising powers' self-conception of their positions in global governance, and in particular within the UN Security Council social environment. The findings offer implications for cooperation with norm resisters, and the debate about rising powers and international order.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - 2022


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