Update April 2021: The course will take place online, more information here.
This course will analyze the formation of global norms and international regimes. It will take a multifaceted approach looking at the role of ideas, institutions, as well as material factors. It will also evaluate the formation of global norms within the context of the changing world order, which his seeing a reduced role for the United States as well as more diversity of regime type and ideologies. This will create multiple problems for the formation of global norms. The role that regions can play in establishing norms and international regimes will be studied. Also, what the changing world order means for the ability of small states to play a part in the formation of norms will be highlighted. Together examples of cyber security norms, environmental, trade, and other norms will be studied in depth.
Reasons for opening the course: The world is currently in turmoil as the post-World War two liberal world order transitions into the great unknown. As non-Western countries grow their influence, the way that global norms and international law are formed will have to adapt. As a member state of NATO and the EU, Estonia has benefited greatly from the liberal world order. Understanding what this change means for Estonia and how a small state like Estonia can operate within it will be one of the goals of the course.
One specific way that Estonia’s budding industries (ICT, health technologies, etc.) have benefited is due to Estonia’s ability to brand itself as an e-state and Estonia’s ability to play a role in the shaping of international norms. Some examples include the Tallinn Manual and the Tallinn Manual 2 which have played an important role in the formation of cyber security norms. Estonia’s participation in the EU and in other diplomatic endeavors have given it a voice on internet governance and other related norms that then enforce Estonia’s brand as an e-state. This brand has a significant spillover impact on the industries in a way that does not show up in the balance sheets of a company or the tax code of the country. This course will help establish what the changing order will mean for the formation of global norms and what processes and actors can play a role in their continued formation. For Estonia, it is critical that it continues to have a global voice and a global image.