This article contributes to the contemporary foreign policy debate about how norms influence policymakers’ behaviour. Hypotheses of norm-driven action are frequently dismissed when norms are inconsistently followed. However, values may collide, which might provide an explanation for such apparent inconsistencies. Drawing on recent constructivist literature on the contestation of norms, I discuss why integration in EU development policy was resisted. I ask if resistance was due to the wish to maintain national control over policies or if the so-called like-minded countries’ resistance was due to a conflict of normative concerns regarding how to best achieve coordination. The study contributes by developing an empirically relevant hypothesis of norm collision which lends itself well for theoretical generalisation. In addition, the article provides new empirical knowledge about EU development policy by identifying the tension between securing country ownership and donor involvement as a crucial factor contributing to resistance to EU integration.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/.