This chapter explores contested terrain in the no-man’s land between international law and politics—the work of ‘norms’ in social, including legal, change. International environmental law has served as the crucible for much of the theoretical debate, and a central focus of this debate has been on the effectiveness of various types of formal and informal norms. The category of ‘norm’ is inclusive and general. A norm may be vague or specific—it may mean a widespread social practice, a social prescription, a legal principle articulated to shape the evolution of a...
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