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Develops a rhetorical field theory that conceptualises the relationship between background ideas and foreground communication Distinguishes between two layers of background ideas ( nomos and topoi) that underpin communicative encounters in a field Conceptualises communicative opportunities and moves through which actors change the nomos of a field Illustrates the added value of a rhetorical field theory by inquiring into nomic change in the nuclear-weapons field A burgeoning literature in International Relations draws on Bourdieu’s theory of social fields to address the question of how actors make and unmake order in world politics. Inquiring into deeply seated background ideas constituting order, this literature often neglects how communication reproduces and (de)contests background ideas. Our article seeks to remedy this shortcoming by outlining a rhetorical field theory. This theory puts background ideas and foreground communication on an equal footing and conceptualises their relationship in detail. We distinguish between two layers of background ideas ( nomos and topoi) and address the crucial question of how nomic change becomes possible. We introduce a typology of nomic change (destabilisation, adaption, disorientation, shift) and conceptualise the interplay of rhetorical opportunities and rhetorical moves that bring about particular types of nomic change. We probe this theoretical framework by analysing the recent nomic change in the nuclear-weapons field. This empirical analysis provides evidence for our theoretical framework.

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... Between the rhetor and audience, the national media take the mediating position in the legitimisation process (Cronen, 1973;McCombs and Shaw, 1972), and rhetorical theory explains this mediation between the background ideas and foreground communication (Kornprobst and Senn, 2016). Just as media-driven communication links the process to the antecedents and consequence of institutional change (Campbell, 2004), rhetorical institutionalism combines the rhetor's innovation and the audience response through intermediaries. ...
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The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has attracted support and critique for its legitimacy and potential success. Its opponents see challenges more than prospects because of American inattention and resistance, and its proponents see prospects more than challenges because of the attention from the rest of the world. While both sides use valid reasons for their explicit or implicit views, they focus on the legitimacy by its taken-for-granted status. The BRI project as innovation is at the legitimisation process stage. To address the legitimisation of the BRI project innovation, we use rhetorical theory to analyse the Chinese official report in 2019, the American versus European media response to the BRI project and the US direct response to the BRI in the Indo-Pacific Strategy in 2019. Our exploratory findings show insights into the subjects, industries and regions. Firstly, the American media attention far exceeds the European media attention. Secondly, the American media attention and direct response to the BRI highlight the political issues, and the European media attention highlights economic issues. The Chinese official report mentions European countries, and excludes the USA. Thirdly, it uses Pakistan more frequently than other countries or regions in its achievement report, but the US has not mentioned Pakistan at all in its Indo-Pacific Strategy. Fourthly, the US political logic diverges from the logic of the BRI project, while the European economic logic converges to the logic of the BRI project. Based on these findings, we contribute to the legitimisation process of innovation, rhetorical theory and policy implications in the world.
... As rituals do not necessarily follow conscious planning, but can be enacted habitually in everyday activities, this paper also finds analogies to the 'practice turn'. Adapting this paper to the practice turn's (Bourdieuinspired) terminology, then the system may be seen as the diplomatic field, and the semiotic axiom may be understood as internal to diplomats' doxic presuppositions or background knowledge (Senn and Elhardt 2014;Kornprobst and Senn 2016a;Leander 2011). A certain compatibility between this paper's approach and ANT or the practice turn may be facilitated by the observation that these frameworks offer "more method than theory" (Austin 2017, 52;cf. ...
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Cambridge Core - International Relations and International Organisations - Co-Managing International Crises - by Markus Kornprobst
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Article
How do actors come to contest previously uncontested background ideas? This is a difficult question to ask. On the one hand, deep backgrounds seem to be too foundational for actors to transform. Their political efficacy appears to end where ideas constitute their efficacy in the first place. On the other hand, ideas must not be reified. Even deeply taken-for-granted ideas do not always stay the same, and agents have a lot to do with these changes. In order to answer this question, we draw from social theory and rhetorical studies. We conceptualize the deep background as nomos, and the more easily accessible background as endoxa. We then proceed to identify three sets of conditions that make nomic change possible. These relate to opportunity, message, and messenger. Nomic change becomes possible when the need forsomething new has become widely established and a supply of new nomic ideas is easily available (opportunity); new nomic ideas are ‘smuggled’ into more orthodox and widely resonating arguments (message) as well as rhetorical encounters in which these arguments are made; and advocates are widely recognized as interlocutors (messenger). A plausibility probe of nomic contestation about nuclear governance provides evidence for this framework.
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1965 veröffentlichte der prominente amerikanische Politikwissenschaftler Har-wood Childs sein Buch „Public Opinion“, dessen zweites Kapitel „The Nature and History of Public Opinion“fast 50 verschiedene Definitionen des Begriffs öffentliche Meinung (öM) aufzählt. Wie war es zu einer so verwirrenden Fülle von Bedeutungen des Begriffs öM gekommen? Seit der Antike wurden öM und die Synonyme dafür im Sinn von sozialer Kontrolle gebraucht. Diese soziale Kontrolle bezieht sich auf die Sphäre des alltäglichen Lebens genauso wie auf die politische. ÖM ist ein breiter Konsensus in der Bevölkerung, dem sowohl die Regierung wie auch die einzelnen Glieder einer Gesellschaft folgen müssen. Aristoteles erklärt: Der König, der die Zustimmung des Volkes verliert, ist kein König mehr. So drücken es in wechselnder Formulierung Machiavelli und Erasmus von Rotterdam aus und besonders bündig der englische Sozialphilosoph Hume 1739: „Regierung ist allein auf Meinung gegründet; und dies trifft zu für die despotischsten und militärischsten Regierungen ebenso wie für die freiesten und populärsten“. Aber mit dem 18. Jhdt., mit dem Beginn der Aufklärung setzte eine höchst eigentümliche Sinnverschiebung, ein Bedeutungswandel des Begriffs öM, ein. Der jetzt so hoch bewertete Verstand bildete nun auch den Inhalt der öM. Die öM wurde zur Meinung der urteilsfähigen, kritisch raisonnierenden, verantwortungsbewußt der Regierung gegenübertretenden Bürger.
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If one were to conduct, say during the annual convention of the International Studies Association (ISA), an opinion poll in which the International Relations (IR) scholars gathered at this convention were asked to list the five theoretical concepts they consider most central in explaining (dis-)order in world politics, one would not have to be a prophet to forecast that the concept of ‘functional differentiation’ would hardly make it even close to the top of the list. While not pursuing the probably illusionary objective of paving the way for a spontaneous mass conversion of IR scholars to functional differentiation, the main objective of the present chapter is to show that the more or less benign neglect of notions of functional differentiation in IR – laudable exceptions, many of them assembled in this volume, notwithstanding – is unwarranted, both empirically and theoretically. More specifically, this chapter claims that a deconstructivist understanding of functional differentiation as developed by modern systems theory heralds crucial theoretical advances for the study of order in world politics. IR should not ignore this, even if it might challenge prevalent assumptions in IR and political science about the somewhat superior role of politics vis-à-vis other social systems. Apart from these more general arguments on the merits of theorizing in IR about functional differentiation, this chapter argues that the limits in the outreach of the theory of functional differentiation in IR cannot be attributed to a lack of systematic engagement with comprehensive social theories in the discipline alone, although this is certainly also the case. It also pertains to a crucial blind spot in the theory of functional differentiation itself, which limits this theory's ability to address issues of crucial relevance to IR. This blind spot relates, in particular, to the relative absence in functional differentiation theory of a coherent understanding of the interrelationship between differentiation, on the one hand, and conflict and securitization, on the other. Only if the theory is able to show how functional differentiation relates to a comprehensive theory of social conflicts and securitization will it make a lasting impact on the study of the world political system – that is, a social system in which intensive and violent forms of conflict and securitization are ubiquitous and expected. This offers at least some quanta of solace to IR, an academic discipline with a well-elaborated vocabulary for the analysis of the interrelationship between conflicts and global order.
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In their introduction to this volume, Mathias Albert, Barry Buzan and Michael Zürn suggest that long-term structural change in the international system can be analysed in terms of the interaction between, and relative importance of, three different forms of social differentiation: segmentary, stratificatory and functional (see also Buzan and Albert, 2010). IR scholarship traditionally focuses on what sociologists would see as the result of segmentary differentiation, namely systems or societies of states, while paying attention also to stratificatory differentiation because of the role of great powers, superpowers and empires. According to prominent system theorists, this spatially differentiated political system should be seen as embedded in a ‘world society’ that is itself primarily differentiated along functional lines (Luhmann, 1971a). According to Niklas Luhmann, only the political system and the legal system are differentiated spatially in the form of states; all other systems ‘operate independently of spatial boundaries. Precisely the unambiguous character of spatial boundaries makes it clear that they are respected neither by truths nor by diseases, neither by education nor by television, neither by money (if the need for credit is considered) nor by love’. Luhmann added that ‘the importance of spatial boundaries lies in the interdependencies between the political and the legal system on the one hand and the other functional systems on the other’.
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Neoliberalism. Neoconservatism. Postmarxism. Postmodernism. Is there really something genuinely new about today's isms? Have we moved past our traditional ideological landscape? This book traces ideology's remarkable journey from Count Destutt de Tracy's Enlightenment 'science of ideas' to President George W. Bush's 'imperial globalism'. Rejecting futile attempts to 'update' modern political belief systems by adorning them with prefixes, the book offers instead an explanation for their novelty: their increasing ability to articulate deep-seated understandings of community in global rather than national terms. This growing awareness of globality fuels the visions of social elites who reside in the privileged spaces of our global cities. It erupts in the hopes and demands of migrants who traverse national boundaries in search of their piece of the global promise. Stoked by cross-cultural encounters, technological change, and scientific innovation, the rising global imaginary has destabilised the grand political ideologies codified during the national age. The national is slowly losing its grip on people's minds, but the global has not yet ascended to the commanding heights once occupied by its predecessor. Still, the first rays of the rising global imaginary have provided enough light to capture the contours of a profoundly altered ideological landscape. Pointing in this direction, the book ends with an interpretation of the apparent convergence of ideology and religion in the dawning global age - a broad phenomenon that extends beyond the obvious cases of Christian fundamentalism and Islamic jihadism.
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Can international legitimacy operate even in a deformed balance of power, and when there is only one dominant state? Conventionally, hegemony has been perceived as a threat to international society. But how then is international order to be maintained, if this still requires a managerial role on the part of the great powers? IR theory has not taken that problem sufficiently seriously. This study makes a sharp distinction between primacy, denoting merely a form of material power, and hegemony, understood as a legitimate practice, and as giving rise to a form of social power. Adopting an English School approach, the author suggests hegemony be considered as one potential institution of international society, and hence as one possible mechanism of international order. The book reviews some relevant historical cases (the Concert of Europe, Pax Britannica, and Pax Americana) and argues that, instead of one model of hegemony, these represent several different variants: importantly, each displays its own distinctive legitimacy dynamics. Once these are appreciated, they can help us identify the possible institutional forms of hegemony in contemporary international society. This is done through three cases, examining in turn US policy on the UN Security Council, in East Asia, and on climate change. The overall argument challenges the limited post-Cold War debate about primacy, and the equally simplistic projections about the future distribution of power to which it gives rise. In doing so, it offers a major rethinking of the concept of hegemony in international relations.
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How do states sustain international order during crises? Drawing on the political philosophy of Lyotard and through an empirical examination of the Anglo-American international order during the 1956 Suez Crisis, Bially Mattern demonstrates that states can (and do) use representational force--a forceful but non-physical form of power exercised through language--to stabilize international identity and in turn international order.
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This volume provides a clear and instructive introduction to the skills of the rhetorical arts. It surveys critically the place of rhetoric in contemporary public life and assesses its virtues as a tool of political theory. Questions about power and identity in the practices of political communication remain central to the rhetorical tradition: how do we know that we are not being manipulated by those who seek to persuade us? Only a grasp of the techniques of rhetoric and an understanding of how they manifest themselves in contemporary politics, argues the author, can guide us in answering these perennial questions.
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In Emanuel Adler's distinctive constructivist approach to international relations theory, international practices evolve in tandem with collective knowledge of the material and social worlds. This book - comprising a fresh selection of his journal publications, a substantial new introduction, three previously unpublished articles - points IR constructivism in a novel direction, characterized as 'communitarian'. Adler's synthesis does not herald the end of the nation-state; nor does it suggest that agency is unimportant in international life. Rather, it argues that what mediates between individual and state agency and social structures are communities of practice, which are the wellspring and repositories of collective meanings and social practices. The concept of communities of practice casts new light on epistemic communities and security communities, helping to explain why certain ideas congeal into human practices and others do not, and which social mechanisms can facilitate the emergence of normatively better communities.
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This volume aims to provide a new framework for the analysis of securitization processes, increasing our understanding of how security issues emerge, evolve and dissolve. Securitisation theory has become one of the key components of security studies and IR courses in recent years, and this book represents the first attempt to provide an integrated and rigorous overview of securitization practices within a coherent framework. To do so, it organizes securitization around three core assumptions which make the theory applicable to empirical studies: the centrality of audience, the co-dependency of agency and context and the structuring force of the dispositif. These assumptions are then investigated through discourse analysis, process-tracing, ethnographic research, and content analysis and discussed in relation to extensive case studies. This innovative new book will be of much interest to students of securitisation and critical security studies, as well as IR theory and sociology. © 2011 Thierry Balzacq for selection and editorial matter. All rights reserved.
Book
Since the late 1980s, the rogue state concept has emerged as a central motive of U.S. security policy and has been under intense debate by policy-makers and academics. The book breaks new ground in this discussion by approaching the rogue state concept from a moderate constructivist perspective. In addition to analyzing how U.S. decision-makers have come to see a group of states as aggressive, risk-prone or even irrational outsiders to the contemporary international system, the book also inquires the threat perceptions of states that have been stigmatized with the rogue state label.
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American Documentary Film focuses on the extensive range and history of nonfiction filmmaking in the USA, investigating how documentary films have reflected varied and often competing visions of US culture, history, and national identity. Documentary has long been a negotiated and changing concept: a site of social, intellectual, and aesthetic investment keenly fought over and debated. In this sense documentary films also create a kind of public space: they act as sites for community-building, public expression, and social innovation; they contribute to the public sphere. This book distills key aspects of the documentary idea while tracing the form’s development over time, focusing on the ways documentaries have given shape to the experience and comprehension of a national imaginary. Combining comprehensive overviews with in-depth case studies, Geiger examines the impact of pre- and early cinema, travelogues, the avant-garde, 1930s social documentary, Second World War propaganda, direct cinema, postmodernism and the crisis of ‘truth’, and the new media age.
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This book rethinks security theory from a feminist perspective – uniquely, it engages feminism, security, and strategic studies to provide a distinct feminist approach to security studies. The volume explicitly works toward an opening up of security studies that would allow for feminist (and other) narratives to be recognized and taken seriously as security narratives. To make this possible, it presents a feminist reading of security studies that aims to invigorate the debate and radicalize critical security studies. Since feminism is a political project, and security studies are, at their base, about particular visions of the political and their attendant institutions, this is of necessity a political intervention. The book works through and beyond security studies to explore possible spaces where an opening of security, necessary to make way for feminist insights, can take place. While it develops and illustrates a feminist narrative approach to security, it is also intended as an intervention that challenges the politics of security and the meanings for security legitimized in existing practices. This book provides develops a comprehensive framework for the emerging field of feminist security studies and will be of great interest to students and scholars of feminist IR, critical security studies, gender studies and IR and security studies in general.
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Cambridge Core - International Relations and International Organisations - International Security in Practice - by Vincent Pouliot
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In this paper, I examine the role of emotional contagion in our affective engagement with narrative fiction film, focusing in particular on how spectator responses based on emotional contagion differ from those based on more sophisticated emotional processes. I begin by explaining emotional contagion and the processes involved in it. Next, I consider how film elicits emotional contagion. I then argue that emotional contagion responses are unique and should be clearly distinguished from responses based on other emotional processes, such as empathy. Finally, I explain why contagion responses are a significant feature of spectators' engagement with narrative fiction film.
Book
Communication is central to how we understand international affairs. Political leaders, diplomats, and citizens recognize that communication shapes global politics. This has only been amplified in a new media environment characterized by Internet access to information, social media, and the transformation of who can communicate and how. Soft power, public diplomacy 2.0, network power - scholars and policymakers are concerned with understanding what is happening. This book is the first to develop a systematic framework to understand how political actors seek to shape order through narrative projection in this new environment. To explain the changing world order - the rise of the BRICS, the dilemmas of climate change, poverty and terrorism, the intractability of conflICT - the authors explore how actors form and project narratives and how third parties interpret and interact with these narratives. The concept of strategic narrative draws together the most salient of international relations concepts, including the links between power and ideas; international and domestic; and state and non-state actors. The book is anchored around four themes: order, actors, uncertainty, and contestation. Through these, Strategic Narratives shows both the possibilities and the limits of communication and power, and makes an important contribution to theorizing and studying empirically contemporary international relations.