Infinity within the Brackets



The ethnographic subjects of this article are UN-sponsored international conferences and their legal documents. Drawing upon fieldwork among Fiji delegates at these conferences, in this article I demonstrate the centrality of matters of form, as distinct from questions of “meaning,” in the negotiation of international agreements. A parallel usage of documents and of mats among Fijian negotiators provides a heuristic device for exploring questions of pattern and scale in the aesthetics of negotiation, [documents, institutions, knowledge, aesthetics, law, transnationalism]