Structure or Agency? New publication on a well-known topic in international politics

9 Juli 2021

The question of whether structural genesis and change is conditioned by agency or vice versa has long preoccupied the field of international relations, and here especially norms research. In their freshly published peer-reviewed publication "The Co-Constitution of Structure and Actor: an Old Problem from the Perspective of Critical Norms Research" Eva Herschinger and Frank Sauer (Metis Institute) make a new, innovative proposal for conceptualizing the relationship between structure and agency. The idea of co-constution is implemented using the concepts of relation and dislocation from discourse theory as well as the concepts of crisis and agency from pragmatism. The authors illustrate this novel view on international norms looking into the emergence of the global drug prohibition regime.

The chapter is part of the peer-reviewed volume"Critical Research on Norms in
International Relations. New Directions and Metatheoretical Perspectives," edited by Stephan Engelkamp, Katharina Glaab, and Antonia Graf, published by Nomos. More info on the volume (including open access) can be found here: