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United Nations
ACUNS Annual Meeting
23-25 June 2022
Full Schedule
Time Zone
June 24, 08:30 - 10:00 CEST
In-person - Room S2

“Responsibilization” in Global Governance

  • Governance
  • International Institutions
  • International Law

Global governance is about regulating issue areas, and thus involves extensive negotiations on who should do what in international politics. Such issues are permeated by an understanding of rights, obligations, duties and responsibilities, and extensive negotiations on how to allocate them, both in the present and for the future. Actors interested in promoting normative change in the field of human rights, security or climate politics engage in debates on distributing these obligations and responsibilities. The political and normative struggle to negotiate who is responsible for what is sometimes referred to as “responsibilization.” This roundtable brings the instrumental use or avoidance of moral language to analytical scrutiny. What are the techniques through which “norm entrepreneurs” frame political questions as having moral implications? Under what conditions are such moral framings accepted? When do institutions or transnational coalitions rely on naming and shaming? How do they articulate obligations and duties, “ascribing” responsibilities through these speech acts? What are the productive and counterproductive uses of blaming? The roundtable brings together experts working on security, climate change and the protection of human rights to reflect on the prevalence, success and challenges of using moral language in global governance, and explores these questions from both a Global North and a Global South perspective.


  • Graduate Instititue Global Governance Centre New
  • Speakers

    • Joanna Bourke-Martignoni
      Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (Switzerland)
    • Malavika Rao
      Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Switzerland)
    • 2022 06 23 1714F99a 7742 4C90 A6fd 3A23ee7c7b40
      Huaru Kang
      Zhengzhou University (China)
  • Chair

    • 2022 06 23 Erna 03
      Erna Burai
      Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Switzerland)