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FalloutNuclear Diplomacy in an Age of Global Fracture$
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Grégoire Mallard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226157894

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226157924.001.0001

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Explaining Recursive Cycles of Treaty Interpretation

Explaining Recursive Cycles of Treaty Interpretation

The Role of Transparency, Ambiguity, and Opacity

(p.17) Two Explaining Recursive Cycles of Treaty Interpretation

Grégoire Mallard

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 2 shows how the focus on legal interpretation that is adopted in this book complements and challenges some aspects of the existing sociological theories of transnational legal change: first, the sociological theories inspired by Pierre Bourdieu’s framework, which focus on the socio-cultural mechanisms (like homophily, social reproduction, inter-generational change) at work in domestic fields of power; second, the socio-legal theories which focus on the transnational dimension of international legal change, and more particularly on the multi-level dynamics at work in “recursive cycles” of legal change. This chapter argues that both sets of theories have developed too narrow a conception of legal interpretation, and it formulates some hypotheses on the role that three types of interpretive tactics (e.g. transparency, ambiguity and opacity) play at the domestic level as well as on their effect on future cycles of treaty revision.

Keywords:   legal change, Pierre Bourdieu, socio-legal theories, legal interpretation, transparency, ambiguity, opacity

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