This volume uses the concept of ‘norms’ to initiate a long overdue conversation between the constructivist and postcolonial scholarships on how to appraise the ordering processes of international politics. Drawing together insights from a broad range of scholars, it evaluates what it means to theorise international politics from a postcolonial perspective, understood not as a unified body of thought or a new ‘-ism’ for IR, but as a ‘situated perspective’ offering ex-centred, post-Eurocentric sites for practices of situated critique.

Through in-depth engagements with the norms constructivist scholarship, the contributors expose the theoretical, epistemological and practical erasures that have been implicitly effected by the uncritical adoption of ‘norms’ as the dominant lens for analysing the ideational dynamics of international politics. They show how these are often the very erasures that sustained the workings of colonisation in the first place, whose uneven power relations are thereby further sustained by the study of international politics.

The volume makes the case for shifting from a static analysis of ‘norms’ to a dynamic and deeply historical understanding of the drawing of the initial line between the ‘normal’ and the ‘abnormal’ that served to exclude from focus the 'strange' and the unfamiliar that were necessarily brought into play in the encounters between the West and the rest of the world. A timely intervention, it will be of great interest to students and scholars of international relations, international relations theory and postcolonial scholarship.

chapter 1|22 pages

The postcolonial perspective

Why we need to decolonize norms
ByCharlotte Epstein

chapter 2|15 pages

Constructivism and the normative

Dangerous liaisons? 1
ByNaeem Inayatullah, David L. Blaney

chapter 4|17 pages

Civilising norms and political authority in Africa

Reflections drawn from psychoanalysis
ByJulia Gallagher

chapter 5|13 pages

Stop telling us how to behave

Socialization or infantilization? 1
ByCharlotte Epstein

chapter 6|19 pages

Against localization

Rethinking compliance and antagonism in norm dynamics
ByCharmaine Chua

chapter 7|17 pages

International norms in postcolonial time 1

ByArjun Chowdhury

chapter 8|15 pages

On the therapeutic uses of racism in other countries

ByDavid T. Smith

chapter 9|20 pages

The norm of state-monopolised violence from a Yemeni perspective

BySarah Phillips

chapter 10|17 pages

Sovereign relations?

Australia’s ‘off-shoring’ of asylum seekers on Nauru in historical perspective
ByAnthea Vogl

chapter 11|18 pages

In the post-colonial waiting room

How overseas countries and territories play games with the norm of sovereignty
ByRebecca Adler-Nissen, Ulrik Pram Gad

chapter 12|18 pages

Postcolonial colonialism?

The case of Turkey
ByZeynep Gülşah Çapan, Ayşe Zarakol