Existing literature in International Relations has firmly established that public justifications matter in world politics. They make it possible for a range of communities — nations, security communities, global advocacy networks and so on — to take political action. This article aims to improve on our understanding of how communities produce such justifications. It seeks to make conceptual and methodological contributions. On the conceptual level, I contend that political judgements generate public justifications and, vice versa, that these justifications shape future judgements. I outline a three-circuit map for studying the communicative processes that link judgements and justifications. On the methodological level, I argue that what I label a structured, focused communication analysis is well suited to put the three-circuit map to use to do empirical research. I tailor the structure and focus of such an analysis to the requirements of research on public justification.