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Neue Autoritäten? Ein kommunikationstheoretischer Blick auf die Deutungsmacht inter- und transnationaler Akteure in der Darfurkrise

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  • Ecker-Ehrhardt, Matthias
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    Abstract

    In Anlehnung an das Webersche Konzept legitimer Herrschaft lässt sich die Fähigkeit effektiv zu regieren, nicht nur im Sinne von Zwang und/oder Anreizen verstehen, sondern gerade auch durch die verbreitete Anerkennung von Akteuren als legitime „Autoritäten“. Wie viele Beobachter überzeugend argumentiert haben, spielen Nichtregierungsorganisationen und internationale Bürokratien eine entscheidende – und vielleicht auch zunehmend wichtigere – Rolle in der internationalen Politik, gerade weil sie als normative und epistemische Autoritäten anerkannt werden. Das Entstehen einer denationalisierten „multicentric world“ (James Rosenau) wird entsprechend oft behauptet, obwohl die empirische Beweislage bestenfalls unvollständig ist. Im Rekurs auf Arbeiten von Pierre Bourdieu und Jürgen Habermas wird argumentiert, dass die Art und Weise, wie die Akteure in politischen Debatten kommunikativ auf andere als „Autoritäten“ verweisen, eine Antwort auf die Frage liefert, inwieweit sich ein solcher Prozess politischer Denationalisierung tatsächlich abzeichnet. Das Papier illustriert den Mehrwert entsprechender Forschung zu „Autoritätskommunikation“ anhand einer Textanalyse von Debatten über die humanitäre Krise im Sudan/ Darfur. Texte aus sechs öffentlichen Foren werden vergleichend untersucht: zwei Parlamenten (US-Repräsentantenhaus, britisches Unterhaus), zwei „neuen Medien“ (CNN.com, BBC.uk) und zwei „klassischen“ Zeitungen (Guardian, New York Times). Angesichts unzuverlässiger Informationen hinsichtlich des Ausmaßes menschlichen Leids, dessen lokaler Kontexte und Ursachen, so wird argumentiert, ist die Völkergemeinschaft dringend auf glaubwürdige Informationen und Interpretationen angewiesen – Informationen darüber, was diese Ereignisse für sie selbst hinsichtlich ihrer eigenen Kapazitäten und Pflichten bedeuten. Internationale und nichtstaatliche Akteure werden so zu integralen Bestandteilen verschiedener politischer Arenen, zu epistemischen Autoritäten („Experten“), die den Mangel an ausreichendem Faktenwissen der Journalisten, Politiker und der Öffentlichkeit kompensieren. Darüber hinaus verleiht der Ruf humanitärer Organisationen als moralischem „Weltgewissen“ entsprechenden Appellen den Impetus einer autoritativen Definition von Verantwortung. Indem man die Art und Weise betrachtet, wie auf internationale Institutionen und Nichtregierungsorganisationen verwiesen wird, so die These, lässt sich deren Akkumulation an „symbolischer Macht“ untersuchen. -- Following a Weberian notion of legitimate rule, the ability to govern effectively may not only be conceived in terms of coercion or incentives, but also the willingness of people to recognize actors as legitimate “authorities” in a number of ways. As many scholars have convincingly argued, non-governmental agencies and international bureaucracies play a decisive – and maybe increasing – role in international politics by being recognized as regulative, moral or epistemic authorities. An oft-claimed trend towards a denationalized “multic-centric-world” (James Rosenau) may result, although empirical evidence is incomplete at best. Building on the work of Pierre Bourdieu and Juergen Habermas, this paper argues that looking at the way actors refer to others as “authorities” during political debates enables us to answer the question to what extent a process of political denationalization is actually taking place. To illustrate the usefulness of such research on the “authority talk,” the paper draws on a text analysis of debates on the humanitarian crisis in Sudan/Darfur taking place in six public fora: two parliamentary chambers (the US House of Representatives and the UK House of Commons), two “new” media outlets (CNN.com and BBC.uk), and two “classic” newspapers (The Guardian and The New York Times). the paper focuses on the humanitarian crisis in Sudan/Darfur. Given unreliable information in terms of the scale of human suffering and its local context and causes, societies abroad are in desperate need for credible information and interpretations about what it “means to them,” in terms of their own capacities and duties. This is where international and non-state actors become integral parts of various political arenas, as epistemic authorities (“experts”) that compensate for the lack of sufficient factual knowledge held by journalists, politicians and audiences alike. Moreover, the reputation of humanitarian agencies as the moral conscience of the “world” gives their calls for action the impetus of an authoritative definition of responsibilities. By looking at the way actors refer to international and non-state institutions, it is argued, we can research their accumulation of “symbolic power.”

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    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Global Governance with number SP IV 2007-303.

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    Date of creation: 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbtci:spiv2007303

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    1. Haas, Peter M., 1992. "Introduction: epistemic communities and international policy coordination," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(01), pages 1-35, December.
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