Jan Klabbers, Maria Varaki and Guilherme Vasconcelos Vilaca (ed) Towards Responsible Global Governance? An Exploration (University of Helsinki, 2018)
23 Pages Posted: 9 May 2022
Date Written: May 5, 2022
This paper develops the notion of responsible legal rhetoric: a form of rhetoric that is not aimed at getting more, at obtaining a better deal for limited interests, at ‘victory’ against an opponent, but that is aimed at ‘taking care of our common world’. The language of international law cannot address the challenges of contemporary global society if it is only aimed at defining a winner. For instance, in addressing climate change there is no state or entity that can claim victory over another one. While in many cases it is ontologically impossible to obtain ‘a better deal’, the need for victory is embedded in international law and triggers the conflict between institutions. Rhetoric is the subject to study for understanding, and eventually changing, the language of international law. The next sections will comment on three arguments made in different contexts pertaining to global governance: legal responsibility of international organizations, social responsibility for climate change, and individual responsibility and the creation of the first peacekeeping mission.
Keywords: virtue ethics, legal argumentation, legal theory
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation