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When democratic governance unites and divides: Social status and contestation in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

  • Academic Journal
  • Hecht, Catherine (AUTHOR)
  • Cooperation & Conflict. Mar2021, Vol. 56 Issue 1, p44-64. 21p.
  • Scholars and practitioners are increasingly attentive to contestation against symbols and institutions underpinning international order(s). Yet International Relations scholarship can benefit from greater understanding of ways in which contestation interacts with salient dimensions of social status in specific international organizations (IOs). Drawing on evidence from the history of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), with a focus on democratic governance and human rights, this article analyzes status-related contestation as a significant, yet under-examined type of contestation in multilateral diplomacy. Status-related contestation conveys dissatisfaction about symbols, institutions, and actors which reinforce socially significant divisions that place a state (or group of states) at a social disadvantage in a particular multilateral venue. International organizations provide unique social contexts which affect the content of contestation. Building on scholarship in social psychology, constructivism, and status hierarchies in world politics, the article analyzes the evolution of a dimension (or basis) of social status in the OSCE and illustrates that, beyond domestic and material interests, state representatives communicate social identity-related concerns through language, for example, that expresses discontent with dividing lines, unfairness, or (dis)respect, in attempting to minimize negative social identities in multilateral organizations. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Additional Information
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