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Social Practices of Rule-Making in World Politics$
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Mark Raymond

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190913113

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190913113.001.0001

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Social Practices of Rule-Making and the Global War on Terror

Social Practices of Rule-Making and the Global War on Terror

(p.142) Chapter 4 Social Practices of Rule-Making and the Global War on Terror
Social Practices of Rule-Making in World Politics

Mark Raymond

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines public dialogue between al-Qaeda and the United States from 1996 until the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Both sides spoke clearly and consistently about actual and preferred rules for the international system, and the way they should be applied; and both sides engaged in procedural criticism and justification. Both sides knew that conflict was overdetermined, and that they had deep disagreements about relevant social practices of rule-making. So why engage in futile dialogue? Attempts to reach like-minded audiences clearly matter, but esoteric appeals about legitimate rule-making procedures are typically not expected to move political audiences. The chapter argues that participants on both sides had internalized ideas about legitimate rule-making practices, and tied these understandings to conceptions of the appropriate nature and ends of political community. The case demonstrates the emotional power of secondary rules, and the difficulty of resolving conflict in the absence of common rule-making practices.

Keywords:   IR theory, constructivism, rules, procedural rules, secondary rules, social practice, war on terror, al-Qaeda, Taliban, Bush administration

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