KOTSUR G.V. Rogue States as the Stigmatized Members of International Society

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2017.2.15

Gleb V. Kotsur

Master Student,

Department of Theory and History of International Relations, Saint Petersburg State University,

Smolnogo St., 1/3, 191060 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

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Abstract. At the turn of the century, the rogue state concept has become an integral part of the theory of international relations. However, even contemporary approaches lack the appropriate academic tools to reach a comprehensive understanding of the international community’s role in determining the normative frameworks of the proper behavior of the states as the main actors of international system, leaving the relations between global community and the rogues almost an uncharted territory on the international stage. The article considers the category of rogue states as “excluded” members of the international community through the sociological lens of “stigma” (E. Goffman) and “labelling theory” (H. Becker and E. Lemert). Engaging an empirical case of Iraqi foreign policy during and after the Gulf War 1991, the author demonstrates two thresholds of the labelling state as the rogue: public initiation of the offender and self-fulfilling prophecy. It is possible to define some specific features of the outsider’s behavior on the international stage: the high level of cooperation among the representatives of the same category, “unsustainable bravado” as the set of fluid and inconsistent actions of the rogue state in foreign policy, finally, the tendency toward obtaining the “secondary gains”. Contrariwise, global community tends to pay greater attention to rogue states and exercise some discrimination practices on the ground of their outcast position in the world normative structure with the category of “wise” actors, for example China, being an exception from the common mainstream and maintaining close cooperation ties with rogues.

Key words: sociology of international relations, theory of international relations, rogue states, world order, constructivism, stigma.

Citation. Kotsur G.V. Rogue states as the stigmatized members of international society. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Serija 4, Istorija. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnoshenija [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2017, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 149-158. (in Russian).

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Rogue States as the Stigmatized Members of International Society by Kotsur G.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 

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