University of Bath
The International Criminal Court (ICC) was born out of the cosmopolitan optimism of the 1990s and has been seen as one of the representative agents (with the UN) of the non-militaristic global enforcement of humanitarian norms. Salla Huikuri’s book on the emergence and institutionalization of the organization is therefore highly interesting from the point of view of peace research. The book develops the theory of norms and institutions by introducing interesting concepts about different types of powers and persuasion strategies – normative binding vs. brute power – and about the role of different types of agents in the development of international norms and institutions: binders, outliers and stragglers. The concepts of normative binding and the idea of interaction of state and non-state actors in the consolidation of an international norm are then used for the analysis of the development of the positions and strategies of the core actors in the establishment of the court – Germany, the EU, and the US. Then the book analyses the expansion of the norm from the core to the peripheries, looking at how the interaction between various kinds of actors and different types of powers affected the spread of the legitimacy of court. Finally, the book focuses on how the battle between normative binding, mainly fought by non-governmental actors and the EU against the brute power of the United States against court’s jurisdiction, affected the decisions of the Philippines to join the ICC and Indonesia not to join. This book is not only a fascinating history of the origin of the ICC, but also an important contribution to the theory of institutionalization of international norms and to cosmopolitan theories on the emergence of global security regimes.