The Invisible Constitution of Politics: Contested Norms and International Encounters

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As social practices now frequently extend beyond national boundaries, experiences and expectations about fair and legitimate politics have become increasingly fragmented. Our ability to understand and interpret others and to tolerate difference, rather than overcome diversity, is therefore at risk. This book focuses on the contested meanings of norms in a world of increasing international encounters. The author argues that cultural practices are less visible than organisational practices, but are constitutive for politics and need to be understood and empirically 'accounted' for. Comparing four elite groups in Europe, Antje Wiener shows how this invisible constitution of politics matters. By comparing individual interpretations of norms such as democracy and human rights, she shows how they can mean different things, even to frequently travelling elite groups.