Rhetorical Legitimation: Global Scripts as Strategic Devices of International Organizations
Posted: 22 Dec 2009
Date Written: January 2010
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
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