There is an increasing tendency to frame international legal discourse in terms of regional designations. We then speak for example of European or American approaches or of Latin American international law. This development could seriously impact the perception of international law. The present article tries to deepen the understanding of what happens when we think about international law and international legal theory in national or regional terms. In an exemplary fashion the article looks at different approaches to treaty interpretation, which have been framed as European and American to see how this impacts on international legal discourse. In a first step, the two approaches at the Vienna Conference on the Law of Treaties will be explained. Secondly, two narratives will be developed describing what happened in Vienna in turn as European/American or as international legal discourse. The third part reflects on the consequences of framing concepts and theories this way with particular reference to the rules on treaty interpretation.