ABSTRACT

To paraphrase and update the mantra of Realism, international politics, like all politics, is a struggle for normative ascendancy: the establishment and maintenance of the dominant normative architecture of international order created and maintained by the interplay of power, ideas, and values. This book positions itself at the intersection of two major trends. The first is a long-term shift from the power end of the spectrum towards the normative end as the pivot on which history turns. The second is the contemporary realignment of the global power equations as the pendulum of history swings back to dilute the relative role and influence of the West in structuring world order. The contemporary confluence of the two trends has given unex-

pected space to the key rising powers to shape the unfolding normative architecture of the twenty-first century and thereby also raised expectations of the international leadership to be provided by them. The use of force-the material capacity to use force and the rules and norms governing the permissible use of force-is crucial both to the structural

readjustments under way and to the codes of behavior to regulate relations among the international actors. This chapter traces the global North-South divide on both norm and policy shifts on this key question, bearing in mind, as many chapters in this book make clear, that Brazil has been a leading Southern voice in the twin debates.