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Customary rules in fluencing behavior and perceptions and forming the basis of collective expectations. Norms act as guidelines to which people, communities, states, etc. are expected to conform. Norms tend to reflect values which lead to expectations of acceptable behavior. Norms are sets of evaluative criteria that allow for the judgement of correct versus incorrect behaviour. A prescriptive norm indicates what should be done, while a proscriptive norm indicates what should not be done. As norms provide behavioural frameworks, they produce feelings of obligation which in turn increase the chances that the norms will be followed. The values attached to a norm determine the importance of compliance; therefore norms attached to ideas of aesthetics produce less of a sense of obligation than those attached to conceptions of morality. Norms are also arguably the foundation of behaviour at the international level, with the majority of actors abiding by international laws due to the existing norms of compliance and respect for the values attached to these laws.

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