Historical "jawboning"?
March 6, 2008 2:18 PM   Subscribe

Can you think of any examples of "jawboning" from history?

A phenomenon in American politics is that of "jawboning"-- whereby politicians or regulators engage in strong rhetoric or issue "policy statements" with the end of getting businesses and people to behavior a certain way "voluntarily"-- either through pure moral suasion or through the threat of explicit regulation. This is sometimes known as "regulation by raised eyebrow."

I am wondering if any historians among you can think of interesting examples of this kind of behavior from history-- be it statements by one of Napolean's ministers, or a Roman emperor. Statements by people or groups that actually *could carry out explicit regulations are best (a legislator might not be able to get any votes, and so his words can be safely ignored).

I know this one is a long shot, but I've found Ask MeFi to be one of the best sources for these kinds of recherché questions.
posted by yesno to Law & Government (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
‘We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come.’
John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia, 6 December 2001.

Some background
posted by mattoxic at 3:11 PM on March 6, 2008

I'm inclined to suspect that the further east you look, the more you'll see of it. Not because the Mysterious Orient™ is all perfectly Daoist and free of coercion or anything, but there is more value placed on reading between the lines there than in the West.
posted by eritain at 7:09 PM on March 6, 2008

Parents Music Resource Center?

"As a method of combating this alleged problem, the PMRC suggested a voluntary move by the RIAA and the music industry to develop "guidelines and/or a rating system" similar to the MPAA film rating system. Additional suggestions from the PMRC that appeared in an article in the Washington Post included: printing warnings and lyrics on album covers, forcing record stores to put albums with explicit covers under the counters, pressuring television stations not to broadcast explicit songs or videos, "reassess[ing]" the contracts of musicians who performed violently or sexually in concert, and creating a panel to set industry standards. This article led to the removal of rock music and magazines from American stores including Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney, Sears, and Fred Meyer."
posted by iviken at 6:41 AM on March 7, 2008

Does McCarthyism fit in with what you're looking for?
posted by edjusted at 8:43 AM on March 7, 2008

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