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(2015) Recognition in international relations, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Reconceptualizing recognition of states and governments

Brad R. Roth

pp. 141-161

Much recent scholarship has identified the striving for recognition as a common denominator of political conflicts at all levels (e.g. Honneth, 1995; Lindemann and Ringmar, 2012). In some political conflicts, the quest for recognition is informal and embedded in other, less esoteric, demands. According to Axel Honneth, "even distributional injustices must be understood as the institutional expression of social disrespect—or, better said, of unjustified relations of recognition" (Fraser and Honneth, 2003, p. 114). Unfavorable outcomes taken to imply misrecognition are experienced not as mere harm to be remedied (or endured), but as indignity to be redressed. Honneth points out that this sense of indignity can drive international as well as local conflict, as in both democratic and authoritarian states, makers of foreign policy must respond to (or can mobilize for their own advantage, as in the case of the Nazi exploitation of the perception of Germany's national humiliation at Versailles) "collective strivings for identity" (Honneth, 2012, p. 32). This observation argues for attention to the ways in which policies may mitigate or exacerbate international conflict by symbolically conveying respect or disrespect for a foreign population's sense of collective identity.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1057/9781137464729_8

Full citation:

Roth, B. R. (2015)., Reconceptualizing recognition of states and governments, in C. Daase, C. Fehl, A. Geis & G. Kolliarakis (eds.), Recognition in international relations, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 141-161.

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