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The Functionality of Conceptual Terms in International Law and International Legal Discourse

Linderfalk, Ulf LU (2013) In European Journal of Legal Studies 6(2). p.27-50
Abstract
Investigating the meaning of conceptual terms is an important task for international legal scholars. Traditionally, the meaning of conceptual terms has been analyzed by reference to what those terms describe, namely a relationship between, on the one hand, the particular properties identifying a particular phenomenon or state of affairs as belonging to the extension of a concept, and on the other hand, the legally relevant inferences ensuing from the categorization. While this theory works reasonably well as long as studies are confined to the meaning of conceptual terms in law, it is ill-suited for any similar study of international legal discourse. In the search for workable alternatives, this essay adopts a different approach. It... (More)
Investigating the meaning of conceptual terms is an important task for international legal scholars. Traditionally, the meaning of conceptual terms has been analyzed by reference to what those terms describe, namely a relationship between, on the one hand, the particular properties identifying a particular phenomenon or state of affairs as belonging to the extension of a concept, and on the other hand, the legally relevant inferences ensuing from the categorization. While this theory works reasonably well as long as studies are confined to the meaning of conceptual terms in law, it is ill-suited for any similar study of international legal discourse. In the search for workable alternatives, this essay adopts a different approach. It equates the meaning of a conceptual term with its functionality, i.e. with what the uttering of a conceptual term potentially does to the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviour of participants in international legal discourse. The essay justifies this approach partly by resort to examples illustrating some of the many functionalities of conceptual terms in international legal discourse. Partly, justification is given by resort to arguments indicating the usefulness of functionality analysis, especially for the critical assessment of international legal discourse and for the explanation of its significance. (Less)
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author
organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Public international law, Folkr├Ątt
in
European Journal of Legal Studies
volume
6
issue
2
pages
27 - 50
publisher
European University Institute
ISSN
1973-2937
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1b43555d-c69b-491f-b2d5-e551775f12fb (old id 3357659)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 14:04:02
date last changed
2018-12-18 08:47:46
@article{1b43555d-c69b-491f-b2d5-e551775f12fb,
  abstract     = {Investigating the meaning of conceptual terms is an important task for international legal scholars. Traditionally, the meaning of conceptual terms has been analyzed by reference to what those terms describe, namely a relationship between, on the one hand, the particular properties identifying a particular phenomenon or state of affairs as belonging to the extension of a concept, and on the other hand, the legally relevant inferences ensuing from the categorization. While this theory works reasonably well as long as studies are confined to the meaning of conceptual terms in law, it is ill-suited for any similar study of international legal discourse. In the search for workable alternatives, this essay adopts a different approach. It equates the meaning of a conceptual term with its functionality, i.e. with what the uttering of a conceptual term potentially does to the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviour of participants in international legal discourse. The essay justifies this approach partly by resort to examples illustrating some of the many functionalities of conceptual terms in international legal discourse. Partly, justification is given by resort to arguments indicating the usefulness of functionality analysis, especially for the critical assessment of international legal discourse and for the explanation of its significance.},
  author       = {Linderfalk, Ulf},
  issn         = {1973-2937},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {27--50},
  publisher    = {European University Institute},
  series       = {European Journal of Legal Studies},
  title        = {The Functionality of Conceptual Terms in International Law and International Legal Discourse},
  url          = {https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/ws/files/55618857/_THE_FUNCTIONALITY_OF_CONCEPTUAL_TERMS_IN_INTERNATIONAL_LAW_AND_.pdf},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2013},
}