Enacting meaning-in-use: qualitative research on norms and international relations

Antje Wiener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

229 Citations (SciVal)


This article proposes a framework for empirical research on contested meaning of norms in international politics. The goal is to identify a design for empirical research to examine associative connotations of norms that come to the fore when norms are contested in Situations of governance beyond-the-state and especially in crises. If cultural practices shape experience and expectations, they need to be identified and made 'account-able' based oil empirical research. To that end, the proposed qualitative approach centres on individually enacted meaning-in-use. The framework comprises norm-types, conditions of contestation, types of divergence and opposition-deriving as a specific interview evaluation technique. Section one situates the problem of contestation in the field of constructivist research on norms. Section two introduces distinctive conditions of contestation and types of norms. Section three details the methodology of conducting and evaluating interviews and presents the technique of opposition-deriving with a view to reconstructing the structure of meaning-in-use. Section four concludes with an outlook to follow-up research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-193
Number of pages19
JournalReview of International Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Enacting meaning-in-use: qualitative research on norms and international relations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this