chapter  7
Resisting Japan’s promotion of a norm of sustainable whaling
Pages 17

This chapter investigates current opposition to the norm of sustainable whaling as promoted by Japan. In this issue-area it is the norm antipreneurs who have largely taken the moral high ground; norm antipreneurs assume that there is something inherently ‘wrong’ about whaling. This norm therefore differs from many others, such as R2P, in regard to which the entrepreneurs are generally assumed – at least in the West – to be promoting ‘progressive’ norms and those who resist are assumed to be endeavouring to stymie what would otherwise be positive or ‘progressive’ developments in global governance. Norm contestation in relation to whaling has been heated ever since the environmental movement in the 1960s sought to replace the then accepted norm of ‘whale conservation’: that whaling could be conducted to the extent compatible with the viability of the industry. Those opposed to whaling tend to present the contestation in simple pro-and anti-whaling terms, whereas the norms being promoted by Japan are far more specific, relating to the acceptability of continuing to whale where that whaling is sustainable for the particular whale population in question and where that whaling is of a ‘scientific’ nature, both of which have some basis in international legal instruments. This chapter begins by explaining further the complexity of norm contestation regarding whaling before examining the sites, strategies and tactics used by the antipreneurs in opposing sustainable whaling.