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ECPR General Conference 2020, University of Innsbruck

Agents in Normative Structures: A Comparative Study of Role Contestation and Socialisation

Juliet Kaarbo
University of Edinburgh
Juliet Kaarbo
University of Edinburgh

Recent research demonstrates that national roles are often contested by domestic agents. This contestation plays out between elites and masses and among elites, and these conflicts often affect foreign policy decision making and behaviour. This study analyses ten cases of contested national roles and uses theoretical insights from foreign policy analysis to explain both the process and outcomes of role contestation. Our cases draw on experts on Israeli, European, African, Australian, Turkish, and Japanese foreign policy. We specifically address how role contestation relates to foreign policy change, how role disagreements are different from preference disagreements, and how normative structures reveal themselves as important when agents use them strategically in domestic discourse over contested roles.
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