AbstractThe After Fragmentation special issue unites political science conversations about regime complexity with legal/normative conversations about global constitutionalism through a focus on the generation and resolution of interface conflicts, defined as moments when overlapping elements or rule incompatibilities generate actual conflicts. Yet scholars choosing among these two perspectives actually have different objectives. After reviewing the two literatures, I argue that this special issue is closer to the global constitutionalism perspective, which generally seeks legitimated order. By contrast, the regime complexity literature asks how does the fact that global governance is spread across multiple institutions in itself shape cooperation politics. Investigating what it means to get 'beyond fragmentation', I suggest that the potential or actuality of rule conflicts is not necessarily a problem because conflicts are a normal and even salutary aspect of politics. If conflict is not the concern, then what should we be worrying about? Both perspectives, I argue, are amoral because they normalise and help justify an international order where responsibility is spread across institutions, promoting order while failing to address fundamental problems affecting people and the world. In this respect, resolving rule conflicts does not get us beyond fragmentation.
in: Manfred Elsig, Rodrigo Polanco & Peter van den Bossche (eds) International Economic Dispute Settlement: Demise or Transformation? World Trade Forum Series, Cambridge University Press iCourts – The Danish National Research Foundation's Centre of Excellence for International Courts, Forthcoming
Any speculation about the promise and future of multilateralism in Latin America turns fundamentally on what we mean by multilateralism. If multilateralism is defined in numeric terms, as any formal cooperative endeavor undertaken by three or more states, then it is easy to predict that multilateralism is going to be an ongoing feature international politics everywhere. If the question concerns the future of particular Latin American multilateral institutions, such as the Inter-American Human Rights system, Mercosur, or the Andean Community, there might be greater worry and room for disagreement. We would then want to know "what part of the inter-American Human Rights system/Mercosur/Andean Community are you talking about?"
Despite the widespread sense that backlash is an important feature of contemporary national and world politics, there is remarkably little scholarly work on the politics of backlash. This special issue conceptualises backlash politics as a distinct form of contentious politics. Backlash politics includes the following three necessary elements: (1) a retrograde objective of returning to a prior social condition, (2) extraordinary goals and tactics that challenge dominant scripts, and (3) a threshold condition of entering mainstream public discourse. When backlash politics combines with frequent companion accelerants – nostalgia, emotional appeals, taboo breaking and institutional reshaping – the results can be unpredictable, contagious, transformative and enduring. Contributions to this special issue engage this definition to advance our understanding of backlash politics. The special issue's conclusion draws insights about the causes and dynamics of backlash politics that lead to the following three potential outcomes: a petering out of the politics, the construction of new cleavages, or a retrograde transformation. Creating a distinct category of backlash politics brings debates in American politics, comparative politics, and international relations together with studies of specific topics, facilitating comparisons across time, space, and issue areas and generating new questions that can hopefully promote lesson drawing.
This conclusion to a special issue on backlash politics develops a proto-theory of backlash politics. The special issue's introduction defined backlash politics as a particular form of political contestation with a retrograde objective as well as extraordinary goals or tactics that has reached the threshold level of entering mainstream public discourse. While a sub-category of contentious politics, we argue that backlash politics is distinct and should not be understood as 'regressive contentious politics'. Drawing from the contributions to this special issue, we discuss the causes of backlash politics, yet we argue that the greatest theoretical advances may come from studying backlash dynamics and how these dynamics contribute to different outcomes. We develop a proto-theory of backlash politics that considers causes for the rise of backlash movements, how frequent companions to backlash politics – emotive politics, nostalgia, taboo breaking, and institution reshaping – intensify backlash dynamics and make it more likely that backlash politics generate consequential outcomes.
We investigate gender disparities in status construction in American political science, focusing on three questions: 1) Do institutions within the discipline of political science—including departments, APSA, editorial boards, and academic honor societies–reflect or remedy gender disparities that exist in many forms of recognition, including appointments to top leadership and citations? 2) Are institutions with centralized and accountable appointment mechanisms less gender skewed compared to networked and decentralized selection processes where implicit bias may go unchecked? 3) Does leaning in help? Does the effort of women to publish and to claim a seat at leadership tables increase the likelihood that higher-level status positions will follow? We find that the distribution of highest-status positions is still gender skewed, that women are over-represented in positions that involve more service than prestige, that "leaning in" by serving as section chair, on editorial boards, or on academic councils is not necessarily a gateway to higher-status appointments, and that accountability promotes greater gender parity. The study raises questions about the goal of gender parity when it comes to lower-status service, and about the types of contributions our discipline rewards.