Rhetorical Legitimation: Global Scripts as Strategic Devices of International Organizations

Posted: 22 Dec 2009

See all articles by Terence C. Halliday

Terence C. Halliday

American Bar Foundation

Susan Block-Lieb

Fordham University School of Law

Bruce G. Carruthers

Northwestern University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2010

Abstract

This paper focuses on a largely neglected aspect of legitimation in international organizations (IOs)-the rhetorical work done by IO scripts as a legitimation strategy of IOs. Based on extensive research within regional and global IOs, we demonstrate four aspects of rhetorical legitimation. First, IO texts draw upon a finite repertoire of rhetorical devices (a) to propagate legitimation strengths of an IO, (b) to amplify or compensate for legitimation weaknesses and (c) to express rhetorical repertoires which convey their own intrinsic merits. Second, configurations of rhetorical devices in IO texts are affected by temporal contexts, such as exogenous shocks and the historical sequencing of IO norm production. Third, the negotiation of relations of IO interdependency, including competition and cooperation, are partly signaled and managed through the rhetorical repertoires of IO products. Fourth, texts have their own properties, formal and substantive, that are crafted to persuade domestic law-makers.

Keywords: economic development, financial crisis, financial markets, globalization, international economic order, norms, K law and economics, international trade law, O19 role of international organizations, Z1 economic sociology

Suggested Citation

Halliday, Terence C. and Block-Lieb, Susan and Carruthers, Bruce G., Rhetorical Legitimation: Global Scripts as Strategic Devices of International Organizations (January 2010). Socio-Economic Review, Vol. 8, Issue 1, pp. 77-112, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1525288 or http://dx.doi.org/mwp024

Terence C. Halliday (Contact Author)

American Bar Foundation ( email )

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
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Susan Block-Lieb

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
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(212) 636-6899 (Fax)

Bruce G. Carruthers

Northwestern University ( email )

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Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-467-1251 (Phone)

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