Chicago Journal of International Law


The Article's discussion begins in Section II by outlining the discourse approach and explaining why it is arguably superior to the alternatives, especially in the global context where preference aggregation is not a viable option. Section III then turns to examine the involvement of ENGO and BINGO networks in the climate debate, demonstrating how patterns of discursive interaction may be observed both within each network and in the ways in which these networks attempt to channel their respective agendas into the institutional deliberation. In Section IV, this Article argues that the proposed conceptual schema is also useful in responding to commentators who are critical of global networks' involvement in environmental lawmaking. These critics claim that global networks are not legitimate international actors because they answer to no one in their power wielding political activity. Under a discourse approach, the legitimacy of networks-both environmental and business-lies in their ability to infuse the institutional debate with different policy perspectives and arguments, out of which well-informed, consensual decisions may be reached. The Article concludes by pointing to some of the implications flowing from a discourse approach for institutional design.