Resistance in International Relations

Scholars in international relations often times are interested in explaining state adherence to international rules and regulations. At present, the accepted methodology for assessing state action distinguishes between compliance and non-compliance. In the real world, however, states react to international regulations in a variety of ways, questioning the utility of this dichotomy. Even when states initially comply they can continue to act subversively, either at the national or international level. These acts of subversion have the potential to alter both the design as well as the effectiveness of the regime as originally envisioned. This project therefore focuses on a new concept of resistance in international relations to show the nuanced ways in which state actors react to new international rules and regulations. In particular, the project distinguishes between submission, foot-dragging, disruption and rejection and theorizes that regime effects depend on the type of resistance strategy chosen. Empirically, the project focuses on different issue areas in international relations (tax, environment, human rights) and uses a mixed methods approach.