Published online by Cambridge University Press: 21 July 2021
Goods are not only tangible things, like military hardware or trade goods, but may also be normative in nature. In this chapter, Rumelili and Towns emphasize the centrality of international symbolic and normative goods in maintaining or challenging hegemony. International orders may be characterized by different systems of supply of normative goods and status. They analyze the role played by ranking organizations and the country performance indices they produce in transforming norms into a set of normative goods. Such country performance indices provide moral value in three ways: They supply public and comparative information, which constructs moral hierarchies; they define norms by assigning moral value to specific indicators; and they distribute moral status to states through the ranking systems they employ. States may acquire normative goods to challenge the dominant position of the United States, or they may challenge the existing set of normative goods to undermine the liberal normative order that undergirds US hegemony. Conceiving of norms as goods alerts us to a distinct terrain where hegemony is challenged in a bottom-up and gradual fashion, through putatively technical measures and standards.