EJIL Book Discussion

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Rousing from Dogmatic Slumbers

Editor’s Note:  Over the next week, EJIL:Talk! is running a Book Discussion, reflecting on Don Herzog’s Sovereignty RIP. Reviewers include Jack Goldsmith, Neil Walker, Heike Krieger and James Gathii. We begin today with Don Herzog's introduction. Thank you to all of the contributors.  I’m a political theorist, not an international lawyer. (I’m not even a lawyer.) So I’m especially grateful to EJIL: Talk! for letting me introduce my book on sovereignty to this community, and keen to hear what my interlocutors have to say about it. Other political theorists have written on the ontology of sovereignty, the metaphysics of sovereignty, even – trust Jacques Derrida to put things in overdrive – the “onto-theological metaphysics” of sovereignty. I’ll just say that’s not my approach. Still others have proceeded as intellectual historians, concerned with texts and discourses. I’m happy to consider texts, and with relentless unoriginality I conscript the likes of Bodin, Hobbes, and Grotius as articulating what I call the classic theory of sovereignty. To secure social order, goes the theory,…

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Concluding Rejoinder: The Art of International Law and Altruism of International Lawyers

In the introductory essay, I sought to apply The Art of Law in the International Community as a response not only to military force and other ills, but to the COVID-19 pandemic. Four colleagues have contributed on how they believe the book works and could work better. They have done so at a time of extraordinary challenge and…

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The Art of International Law-Making: Musings on The Art of Law in the International Community

The new book of Mary-Ellen O’Connell, The Art of Law in the International Community, has a number of merits. One merit is to have placed extra-positive approaches to law-making back at the centre of the stage. A second merit is to consider their role to explain the rise of two pillars of contemporary international law, namely the…

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Quo Vadis? The Future of International Dispute Settlement through the Art of Law in the International Community

Reading Professor O'Connell's latest opus, The Art of Law in the International Community, one cannot help but see its (deliberate or unintended?) twinning with Hersch Lauterpacht's The Function of Law in the International Community. O'Connell argues for a reimagination of modern international law through three propositions, which respond to and further engage Lauterpacht's  limitations on the…

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Aesthetic Philosophy and the Art of Law in the International Community

Inspired by Sir Hersch Lauterpacht’s writings, Mary Ellen  O’Connell, in the Art of Law in the International Community, provides a contemporary response to the ever increasing erosion by states –in the majority of  cases based on self-interest - of the most fundamental peremptory norm of the international legal order, the prohibition of the use of…

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