This book focuses on deliberation in and around international organizations (IOs). It draws on various strands of legal, political, and international relations theory to identify common features of legal argumentation and deliberative politics. The central claim is that IOs are places where “interpretive communities” coalesce, and the quality of the deliberations that these communities provoke is a measure of the legitimacy of the organization. This introductory chapter summarizes the theoretical argument developed more fully in the next two chapters, which is used as a framework for analyzing a number of cases. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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