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Feminist advocacy for ‘gender transformative’ approaches to development, public policy and humanitarian action that account for social norms has surged in recent years. This article intervenes in the debate around norms and implications for transformative approaches. We draw on a unique set of quantitative, global ‘gender data’ collected in 2020 and 2021 and examine how social norms inform women’s experiences of economic empowerment, as well as how these relationships map onto the current debates around interventions to address social norms and the form these interventions ought to take. Our data show that social norms matter for access to and control over resources; in addition, they illustrate that an individual belief in gender equality is fairly common around the world but that such individual beliefs frequently do not coincide with what people think their neighbours believe. These findings suggest a need for consideration of factors beyond individual attitudes towards and beliefs in gender-transformative interventions for women’s economic empowerment.

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This article analyses how regional actors and national authorities shape and transform ‘the region’ from a geographical place into an object of governance for organising and delivering older person care. Drawing on an extensive ethnographic research project in the Netherlands, our findings show that these actors in interaction constitute the region through three practices: consistently creating urgency to foreground regional problems and solutions; renegotiating regulatory policies to facilitate regional care provision; and reconstructing care infrastructures to materialise regional care provision. Actors use and obtain power from co-existing and interacting institutional arrangements to develop new regional care arrangements. This evokes new interdependencies that reconfigure existing governance arrangements. Studying governance objects in-the-making reveals the required iterations, reconsiderations, and adjustments as processes within a given (ambiguous) institutional context, and which lead to institutional change. As regional organisation policies are increasingly scrutinised, this article provides an interesting and important contribution to this field.

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Punctuated equilibrium theory (PET) has evolved into a comprehensive theory of organisational information processing over the past two decades, with hundreds of studies adopting it to examine various aspects of the policy process. Despite the growing number of studies building on PET, however, our understanding of stability and change in media agendas remains rather limited. I propose a theory that seeks to explain the conditions under which media agendas are more punctuated and test my hypotheses using a dataset of 7 million news stories from 15 newspapers in Belgium, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and the UK between 2000 and 2019. Results, based on an analysis of change distributions and a series of regression models, highlight two important findings: first, punctuations in the media agenda are less severe and frequent than those in other organisational agendas. Second, the severity of punctuations is greater in politicised news and diminished in issue areas related to ‘core functions of government’ (Jennings et al, 2011), relative to non-politicised news and issues outside the core areas, respectively. Results also suggest that despite the varying media and political characteristics of the countries examined in this study, change distributions of media attention are strikingly similar across the country cases. Through this novel and innovative study, the article contributes to PET theory by considering different elements of news stories, as well as re-engaging with the discussion of the relationship between the media and politics.

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Digital Sovereignty is core to many contemporary debates on the regulation of digital technology, securing supply chains and strengthening the digital economy. In this paper, we focus on the European debates and policies around this project. We argue that the notion of digital sovereignty should be understood more as an overarching economic, societal and geopolitical project, rather than a project aimed at achieving any kind of political sovereignty or autarky in the digital sector. We arrive at this conclusion by analysing European policy documents and commentaries from various stakeholders for two cases: platform governance and semiconductors. The case of platform governance shows how the EU and its member states struggle to extend their regulatory power over the ‘data monopolies’ of the major Silicon Valley companies. The other is semiconductors, where the EU has kick-started several projects to improve the competitiveness of European manufacturers in a highly integrated global market. These examples demonstrate two things: a) that the pursuit of digital sovereignty does have some impact on the Internet (platform regulation) but also extends to other technological fields beyond it (semiconductors) and b) that digital sovereignty is not only a regulatory or technological project but also an economic, societal and geopolitical one.

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Why do individuals in democratic societies voluntarily request and support stringent policies? What factors contribute to variations in support for different restrictive measures among citizens? This study examines the micro-level impact of the securitisation narrative on individuals’ voluntary support for stringent policies within a democratic context, using the narrative policy framework. Based on evidence from a conjoint experiment conducted in Taiwan, the study finds that agreeing with the narrative ‘COVID-19 is a national security threat’ does not translate into support for all types of restrictive measures. The contents of the securitisation narrative matter significantly; individuals who are more persuaded by the narratives are more likely to support border containment measures and mask mandates because of how narrative contents were structured. These findings highlight the importance for researchers and policymakers to carefully consider policy narrative contents to effectively communicate and garner support for a range of policies during times of crisis.

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Recognition in general comes in many flavours, and so do desires and hopes for recognition. The same is true of recognition of agency in particular. In this short text, I will engage in some basic conceptual work that could be useful for thinking about the theme of this special issue. I will, first, distinguish between several forms of agency that matter in international relations (though not only there) and that can be either recognised or remain unrecognised. Second, I will reflect on what exactly it may mean to ‘recognise’ agency of these various kinds. Finally, I will discuss possible uses of the denial of agency in international relations.

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This article employs the framework of agentic misrecognition to explore the institutional dynamics and distinct forms of agency operative in the global monetary system. The analysis is framed by the concept of “political recognition,” exploring the relationship between the dominant actor and subordinate actors, and showing the complex ways by which misrecognition is performed through, as well as shaped by, the sociopolitical logics of the monetary system. It shows how with the employment of formalist methodologies, the dominant actor protects its status by misrecognizing and resisting pleas for greater concern and more coordination, seeing subordinates not as creative agents but as challenges to its dominance. The analysis also explores how and why subordinate members come to support the misrecognition scheme even though it perpetuates instability and systemic inequalities. Similar to most studies on recognition theory, this article pays close attention to the plight of the misrecognized, but the analysis is also concerned with understanding the underlying cause of the misrecognition scheme and how the dominant actor as misrecognizer contributes to dysfunctions in the monetary system. In demonstrating the underlying features of the misrecognition scheme, this critique challenges established theories and methodologies in the monetary sphere.

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The phenomenon of misrecognition has been analysed under various angles by philosophy, political theory, sociology and lately also by international relations (IR). In IR, (mis)recognition is mainly understood as either status denial (i.e. denial of legal state recognition), inflated honor pretentions (including positive self-images, mythical narratives of the past, Great Power projections and so on), or as a denial of vital conditions necessary for identity, individuality, and freedom. There has been much theoretical work on the problem of inclusion/exclusion or the insider/outsider problem in IR and various empirical studies have shown that misrecognition can contribute to international conflict, international inequalities, (neo)colonialism, masculine domination, and limit the overall rationality of decision-making. However, what has been generally overlooked is the question of agency, the ‘who’ that is seeking and/or entitled to be an object and subject of recognition and how such exclusions and related pathologies result from forms of misrecognition. This introduction to Agentic Misrecognition in World Politics engages with some of the problems related to the question of (mis)recognition and agency in IR, the patterns of excluded recognition, and the normative conditions that pertain to these processes of (mis)recognition. It closes with a summation of the research articles and forum contributions to this volume.

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This article contributes to the scholarship on queer migration by exploring the translation of knowledge as a concept and process whereby social, cultural and epistemic histories and structures are negotiated. Drawing on my own experiences of engaging in ethnographic fieldwork and qualitative interviews with queer asylum seekers in Denmark, I reflect on ways of translating knowledge by focusing on the epistemological, methodological and affective dimensions of research relations. By reflecting on my own position as an epistemological translator, I follow the ways in which affective intimacies emerge in embodied encounters and how these intimacies are constrained and made possible by institutional norms, bodies and spaces. My central argument, drawing on autoethnography, affect theories and decolonial perspectives, suggests epistemic translation as a method of navigating affective intimacies and encounters in research relations. This approach may support a critical reflection of differing positionalities and moments of untranslatability within knowledge production.

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