Today’s inter-national relations feature a paradox. On the one hand, there is an increase in constitutionalism all over the world; for example, references to constitutional norms and processes have become a familiar feature in a range of international organisations (IOs). On the other hand, the interpretation of international law is frequently subject to controversy. Examples are decisions of the United Nations Security Council on military interventions and the use of so-called smart sanctions or in decisions of the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
In short, the global realm is increasingly populated by “constitutionalised” international organizations and an ever-broader range of actors with different levels of authority and legitimacy, yet at the same time, the implementation of common rules, contracts and resolutions is contested. That is, the phenomenon of constitutionalisation is a accompanied by “contested compliance”. Norms research in international relations and international law has highlighted the paradox. At the Chair of Political Science and Global Governance several projects address this situation as both a challenge and an opportunity for enhanced justice and legitimacy in the global realm.