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The Power of DeliberationInternational Law, Politics and Organizations$
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Ian Johnstone

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195394931

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195394931.001.0001

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Interpretive Communities

Interpretive Communities

(p.33) 3 Interpretive Communities
The Power of Deliberation

Ian Johnstone (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter develops the concept of an interpretive community to explain how and why argumentation structures international order and affects state behavior. First, it discusses the nature of interpretation and interpretive communities. It then considers the composition of interpretive communities and how they relate to formal international organizations. It explains two principal functions that interpretive communities serve: they set the parameters of legal discourse and, in effect, pass judgment on legal claims (thereby impacting compliance with law); and they define/interpret/extend the rules of international life (thereby impacting evolution of the law). The chapter concludes with a discussion of the legitimacy of interpretive communities, parallel to the argument at the end of Chapter 2 on the legitimacy of international organizations.

Keywords:   interpretive community, argumentation, international order, international organizations, international relations

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