‘Can you pass the salt?’ The legitimacy of international institutions and indirect speechMatthew D. Stephen
- European Journal of International Relations, March 2015, SAGE Publishing
- DOI: 10.1177/1354066114563417
Indirect speech in international politics
What is it about?
Indirect speech happens all the time in international politics. Yet, it has not yet been recognized or theorized. This paper explains what indirect speech is, how it works, and gives examples from international politics. It then applies the theory to understand how states debate the legitimacy of international institutions.
Why is it important?
The paper for the first time introduces linguistic theory on indirect speech acts to international politics. By applying the theory to legitimacy claims about international institutions, it also provides an alternative rationalist explanation for moral appeals in international politics.
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