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Implementation and World PoliticsHow International Norms Change Practice$
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Alexander Betts and Phil Orchard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198712787

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198712787.001.0001

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The Unimplemented Norm

The Unimplemented Norm

Anti-Mercenary Law and the Problems of Institutionalization

(p.68) 4 The Unimplemented Norm
Implementation and World Politics

Sarah Percy

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines what happens to norms that are not implemented, using the norm against mercenary use as a case study. The anti-mercenary norm was not implemented for intrinsic reasons (related to the poorly devised international laws related to mercenaries) and extrinsic reasons (related to unlucky international circumstances). It may appear that failed implementation has led the anti-mercenary norm to regress. However, the chapter argues that institutionalization and implementation, failed or otherwise, are best understood as prompts to further norm contestation. In this case, failed implementation provided channels through which this contestation occurred, leading to quite specific alterations in the anti-mercenary norm rather than its regress.

Keywords:   mercenaries, norms, norm regress, international law, private security companies, private military companies

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