The Limits of Rhetorical Entrapment in a Post-Truth Age

Critical Studies on Security

Author/s (editor/s):

Luke Glanville

Publication year:


Publication type:

Journal article

Find this publication at:
Taylor & Francis

Luke Glanville, ‘The Limits of Rhetorical Entrapment in a Post-Truth Age’, Critical Studies on Security, online February 2018: 1-4.

What hope is there for shaming, constraining, or entrapping reluctant states to comply with international norms in a post-truth age? To the extent that states are able to deploy post-truth tactics to deflect pressures for compliance, practices of shame, constraint and entrapment will be of limited use. However, there is an alternative approach that holds some promise. Supporters of norms might find greater success by presenting compliance in positive terms: as a welcome opportunity that reluctant states should embrace, rather than as an unwanted burden for which they will pay a price if avoided; inspiring them to comply with shared expectations, rather than constraining them to do so. This is, of course, easier said than done. But we should remember that the politics of shaming and entrapping has always had its own struggles, not least the difficulty of generating a path from episodic shame-driven compliance to sustained norm internalisation.

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