Journal Article

Rhetorical legitimation: global scripts as strategic devices of international organizations†

Terence C. Halliday, Susan Block-Lieb and Bruce G. Carruthers

in Socio-Economic Review

Published on behalf of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Volume 8, issue 1, pages 77-112
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online November 2009 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwp024
Rhetorical legitimation: global scripts as strategic devices of international organizations†

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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

Journal Article.  14667 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Welfare Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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