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Reconstructing the Silk Road: Norm Contestation in Sino-European Relations in Times of the Belt and Road Initiative

Article by Simon F. Taeuber in the Journal of Rising Powers and Global Governance (Volume 1, Issue 1, Apr. 2020, pp. 31-65)
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This paper analyses EU and member-state responses to the Belt and Road Initiative and addresses norm contestation in Sino-European discourse regarding the primary institutions of Sovereignty, International Law, and Market Economy. The paper combines the toolset of the English School with norm contestation theory in its discourse analysis. The findings show evidence for contestation and increasing tension in Sino-European discourse and relations since the beginning of Xi’s presidency. Moreover, that the BRI, while at first a projection screen for substantive disagreements and contestation, eventually became subject to contestation itself. Based on these findings, the paper advances three arguments. First, that the BRI increasingly presented a challenge to EU cohesion and unity, especially in member states’ foreign policy vis-à-vis China. Second, that substantive disagreements between China and the EU, Germany, and Italy were based in a clash of pluralist and liberal-solidarist interpretations of Sovereignty, International Law, and the Market Economy. Third, that in contesting liberal-solidarist interpretations of PIs, China is resisting European solidarisation and arguably proposing a pluralist alternative to a liberal-solidarist order.


Belt and Road Initiative , Discourse Analysis , English School , Norm Contestation , Regional International Society , Sino-European Relations

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A South African Water Crisis. Where Climate Change And Neoliberalism Meet.

Simon F. Täuber & Mads H. Højgaard – Roskilde 2018 – Open access to full report via The Danish Royal Library

In the news, we watch events unfold in front of us every day – locally, regionally, nationally and globally. We see multitudes of headlines, telling of remote places around the globe, all adding to our perception of the state of the world as a whole. The South African water crisis, mainly playing out in the Western Cape region, is one such event.

The research project at hand provides an insight into the current local struggles in the most southern city on the continent of Africa and from there goes beyond the headlines by zooming out to the global context, showcasing the linkages, parallels and implications of water scarcity. Doing so is a necessity in a world that is more connected than ever before and increasingly influenced by nationalism and cultural identity. Further, in the context of climate change and severe weather events around the globe, finding answers to the question of how to confront these diverse challenges is crucial for all of us.

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The Role and Implications of Buffer States in Great Power Relations

Højgaard, Mads Henrik; Færgeman, David; Täuber, Simon Felix; Hermanns, Lisa; Friga, Lukas James – Roskilde 2017 – Open access to full report via The Danish Royal Library

This project considers the role and implications of buffer states in Great Power relations. It reviews the underlying theory behind both the core concepts, highlighting the debates in the literature and mapping out the current state of the art. A methodology review considers the ways that scholars have arrived at conclusions related to the topic. The paper concludes with three primary recommendations for future research. These include suggestions to update the literature on buffers in light of a changing geopolitical situation; to expand the theoretical frameworks employed by researchers to include frameworks beyond realism; and to reconsider the fundamental definition of a buffer by focusing on the ways buffers are utilised and operationalised by Great Powers.

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Risk Management in Automotive Procurement: Development of a Risk Assessing Framework for Procurement Departments

Publication forthcoming.