Rising Powers and Order Contestation: Disaggregating the Normative from the Representational

Third World Quarterly

Author/s (editor/s):

Edward Newman, Benjamin Zala

Publication year:


Publication type:

Journal article

Find this publication at:
Taylor & Francis

Edward Newman and Benjamin Zala, ‘Rising Powers and Order Contestation: Disaggregating the Normative from the Representational’, Third World Quarterly, online, 8 November 2017.

A central theme of the literature on rising powers is that new aspirants to great power status pose a challenge to the underlying principles and norms that underpin the existing, Western-led order. However, in much of the literature, the nature and significance of rising powers for international order are imprecisely debated, in particular the concept and practice of ‘contestation’. In this article, we aim to establish a distinction between normative contestation and what can be thought of as ‘contestation over representation’: that is, contestation over who is setting and overseeing the rules of the game rather than the content of the rules themselves and the kind of order that they underpin. The article engages with debates on international order and international society, and its empirical basis is provided by a thorough analysis of the discourse of rising power summitry.

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