This book brings together academics and practitioners from a range of disciplines from more than twenty countries to reflect on the growing importance of transparency, power and control in our international community and how these concerns and ideas have been examined, used and interpreted in a range of national and international contexts. Contributors explore these issues from a range of overlapping concerns and perspectives, such as semiotic, sociolinguistic, psychological, philosophical, and visual in diverse socio-political, administrative, institutional, as well as legal contexts. The collection examines the ways in which 'actors' in our society - legislators, politicians, activists, and artists - have provoked public discourses to confront these issues.
'This collection by an impressive assemblage of international scholars uses a wide spectrum of disciplinary approaches ranging from discourse analysis to jurisprudence to semiotics to critical theory in probing the social, cultural, and discursive aspects of power and its expression in the legal context. It belongs on the bookshelf of anyone interested in critically engaging the intersection of language, law, and power in the contemporary world.' Janet Ainsworth, Seattle University, USA 'An innovative feature of this volume is that the specific concepts of transparency, power and control in legal communication are discussed from a wide range of methodological approaches and disciplinary perspectives. The varied provenance of the contributors, both in terms of nationality and professional background, favours a very rich exploration of the challenging issues concerning the complex relationship between these three relevant concepts, which are increasingly raised in the present-day socio-legal world.' Maurizio Gotti, University of Bergamo, Italy ’…this richly complex volume…with its wonderfully rich nuances, approaches, and ideas, inspires its readers to see law as it happens in everyday life in ways that are not always so readily apparent.’ International Journal for the Semiotics of Law
Contents: Preface; Transparency, power, and control in legal communication, Vijay K. Bhatia, Christoph A. Hafner, Lindsay Miller and Anne Wagner; Part I Theorizing Transparency, Control and Power in Legal Communication: Linguistic uncertainty and legal transparency: statutory interpretation in China and Australia, Deborah Cao; The power of legal conditionals in international contracts, Celina Frade; The directive and persuasive style of a legislative speech act and the transformations thereof (illustrated with the Polish legal discourse), Irena Szczepankowska; Zorkin v. Morschakova: legal dispute in rhetorical terms, Anita Soboleva; A dialogical and polyphonic approach to contract theory, André Bélanger and Andy van Drom; What EU legislative texts reveal about power, control and transparency, Colin Robertson; Towards an objective means of measuring governmental legitimacy, M. Douglass Bellis. Part II Visualizing and Contextualizing Transparency, Power and Control: Battle of the sexters: teens celling sex in a world wide web of conflicting laws, values and social norms, Michelle L. Wirth; Visualizing the terrorist risk in President Bush's war on terror and Peter Jackson's The Two Towers, Anita Lam; Hearing and belonging: on sounds, faith, and laws, Massimo Leone; Terror Australis, Maria Giannocopoulos; 'The unbearable whiteness of Beckham': semiotics and political recoding of the contemporary celebrity, David Tan; Warhol: images of infamy and underpinning power, Oliver Watts; Index.