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The Power of Words in International Relations – Birth of an Anti-Whaling Discourse - MIT Press Scholarship Online
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The Power of Words in International Relations: Birth of an Anti-Whaling Discourse

Charlotte Epstein


In the second half of the twentieth century, worldwide attitudes toward whaling shifted from widespread acceptance to moral censure. Why? Whaling, once as important to the global economy as oil is now, had long been uneconomical. Major species were long known to be endangered, yet nations had continued to support whaling. This book argues that the change was brought about not by changing material interests but by a powerful anti-whaling discourse which successfully recast whales as extraordinary and intelligent endangered mammals that needed to be saved. It presents whaling as both an object o ... More

Keywords: acceptance, moral censure, discursive power, language, materiality, international relations, agency, non-state actors, historical practices, identity categories

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780262050920
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262050920.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Charlotte Epstein, author