Document Type

Article

Comments

Linking Ideas to Outcomes: A Response, 117 Yale L. J. Pocket Part 289 (2008)

Abstract

It is a distinct pleasure to have the chance to respond to the insightful commentaries of Peter Drahos, Ruth Okediji, and Tomiko Brown-Nagin. I find much to agree with in each, but I will focus on a few areas of divergence in the hope of clarifying our differences. Drahos’s work on the role of ideas in the field of international intellectual property (IP) has been essential to my own thinking, and we agree on two critical points: that frame mobilization matters to political outcomes, and that frame mobilization is not all that matters. But Drahos and I disagree on how framing matters, because we employ slightly different conceptions of the term. As Drahos’s reference to Cicero suggests, he treats framing as primarily a form of rhetorical intervention, one that can usually yield only symbolic or interim victories. I intend the concept in a more constitutive way, as it has been developed in the social movements literature. Framing here marks acts of dialogic, emergent interpretation that instigate, legitimate, and sustain collective action. Conceived of in this way, frames are not only rhetorical devices. They are also fundamental to the dynamics of collective action–to the very possibility and nature of “the environmental movement” or the “access to knowledge movement,” or even, I contend, the “IP industries.”

Date of Authorship for this Version

2008

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