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How international law standards pervade discourse on the use of armed force : insights into European and US newspaper debates between 1990 and 2005

Wie internationale Rechtsstandards den Diskurs über Streitkräfte durchdringen : Einblicke in europäische und US-amerikanische Zeitungsdebatten zwischen 1990 und 2005
[working paper]

Renfordt, Swantje

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Corporate Editor Freie Universität Berlin, FB Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften, Otto-Suhr-Institut für Politikwissenschaft Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
Abstract For almost a decade, ‘public legitimacy’ has remained largely unaddressed in empirical international relations (IR) analyses of international legalization. Yet, this concept has behavioral consequences. IR scholars for long assume that a belief in the legitimacy of a norm may be one reason for a ‘compliance pull’ on the international stage. The present study addresses this gap. It suggests a sociological conception of legalization observable in mass media debates and encompassing law’s ‘public legitimacy’, understood as the congruence between legal regulations and discursive practices to that effect that these rules are also accepted by the larger public. This conception is illustrated in European and US newspaper reporting about military interventions in the post-Cold War era (1990-2005). Based on a large-n media analysis, the study not only concludes that an ‘international rule of law’ frame is heavily diffused across the communicative practices of European and US public spheres. It also shows that two legal norms in particular – human rights and United Nations (UN) multilateralism – generate a shared sense of ‘public legitimacy’ across the six countries analyzed.
Keywords EU; United States of America; newspaper; discourse; public communications; military; international relations; military intervention; legitimacy; legalization; international law; UNO; human rights; multilateralism; reporting
Classification Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy; Media Contents, Content Analysis; International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy
Method empirical
Free Keywords public legitimacy; mass media discourse
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
City Berlin
Page/Pages 23 p.
Series KFG Working Paper Series, 13
ISSN 1868-7601
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications