Between Power and Persuasion: On International Institutions’ Authority in Making Law

Transnational Legal Theory, Forthcoming

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2013-57

Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2013-21

Postnational Rulemaking Working Paper No. 2013-07

24 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2013 Last revised: 22 Oct 2013

See all articles by Ingo Venzke

Ingo Venzke

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law

Date Written: October 18, 2013

Abstract

Drawing on the work of Hannah Arendt, this contribution places authority between power and persuasion. It first argues that authority is a specific kind of power that claims to be legitimate because it connects to the consent of the addressee. But at the same time, authority needs to constrain even if it is not met with agreement. Otherwise it would collapse into persuasion through arguments. What sustains authority between power and persuasion is a discursive practice that builds up a social expectation and that ties actors to the command of the authority. It is with attention to the larger discursive practices that international institutions’ authority in making law is best understood. The notion of semantic authority is introduced in order to capture international institutions’ capacity to establish reference points for legal discourse that other actors can hardly escape.

Keywords: International public authority, international law-making, international organizations, power, persuasion, Hannah Arendt, Max Weber

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Venzke, Ingo, Between Power and Persuasion: On International Institutions’ Authority in Making Law (October 18, 2013). Transnational Legal Theory, Forthcoming; Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2013-57; Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2013-21; Postnational Rulemaking Working Paper No. 2013-07. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2342166

Ingo Venzke (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law ( email )

REC A - Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Amsterdam, 1018WV
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.uva.nl/profiel/v/e/i.venzke/i.venzke.html

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