This article discusses arguing and communicative action as a significant tool for non-hierarchical steering modes in global governance. Arguing is based on a logic of action that differs significantly from both the rational choice-based 'logic of consequentialism', and from the 'logic of appropriateness' theorized by sociological institutionalism. Arguing constitutes a learning mechanism by which actors acquire new information, evaluate their interests in light of new empirical and moral knowledge, and most importantly can reflexively and collectively assess the validity claims of norms and standards of appropriate behaviour. As a result, arguing and persuasion constitute tools of 'soft steering' that might improve both the legitimacy problems of global governance by providing voice opportunities to various stakeholders and the problem-solving capacity of governance institutions through deliberation.
Global Governance and Communicative Action
Governance and Opposition, volume 39, issue 2, April 2004, pp. 288-313.