December 02, 2004

Norms and Definitions

Pursuant to thinking about multilateralism, I recommend reading this essay (PDF) by Steven Simon and Jeff Martini of RAND, on whether international norms against terrorism can be used to help cut off popular support for an insurgent group like Al Qaeda. They say yes, and the argument's a decent one. Spreading these sorts international norms, however, is a trickier matter, and I'm not sure it gets done simply by getting the UN to agree on a definition of terrorism. Top-down stuff matters, but so does the furthering of international standards along "horizontal" lines—which requires some other form of multilateralim entirely. What, though?
-- Brad Plumer 4:54 PM || ||