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Shubhda Chaudhary: What is the difference between norms and principles in international regime theory?

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  • Namrata Goswami replies: In International Regime Theory, regime has been defined as “sets of implicit or explicit principles, norms, rules, and decision making procedures around which actors’ expectations converge in a given area of international relations.” Principles signify beliefs of causation and fact; norms are standards of behaviour based on rights and obligations. Hence, for instance, principles are those that signify a certain belief system leading to a particular outcome. For example, in China, the principle belief that economic power leads to overall national strength. Norms are used to guide state action based on history, values, rights and certain political obligations.