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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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China as a Global Norm-Shaper

China as a Global Norm-Shaper

Institutionalization and Implementation of the Responsibility to Protect

(p.144) 8 China as a Global Norm-Shaper
Implementation and World Politics

Brian L. Job

Anastasia Shesterinina

Oxford University Press

This chapter reflects upon and extends the Betts and Orchard’s theoretical framework by considering the case of China’s engagement with the emerging international norm, Responsibility to Protect (R2P). The tensions embedded in R2P as a “composite norm” are exposed, and the ways in which China has responded to these tensions. While not accepting an expansive interpretation of R2P, neither has China sought to reject it. Having attacked the norm within the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty in 2001 and accepted it as institutionalized at the UN World Summit in 2005, China has consistently advanced a particular interpretation of R2P, impacting the evolution in the understanding of the norm and conditioning its implementation. China’s agenda has thus been as a norm-shaper, following a “bottom-up-and-back” dynamic, which involves both top-down and bottom-up logics of norm-shaping at the stages of institutionalization and implementation of the emerging international norm.

Keywords:   Responsibility to Protect, China, composite norm, norm-shaping, bottom-up-and-back dynamic

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