Theory of International Law

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The Politics of International Law – Twenty Years Later

The essay (see  here) examines some of the changes in my own thinking about the politics of engaging in international law since the original publication of the article (see here) that opened the first issue of EJIL in 1990. The essay points to the change of focus from indeterminacy (to which I am as committed as ever) of legal arguments to the structural biases of international institutions. I still think the study of language must remain an important part of the critical project. That study must now focus on the idiolect of the particular technical fields have occupied the centre of the discipline. In fact, the emergence of numerous specialised fields of international law, suggests that the centre of the discipline may have completely collapsed. Much of this has to do with the politics of definition, that is to say, the strategic practice of defining international situations and problems in new expert languages so as to gain control over them. There are two distinct approaches to this internal power-struggle. One, persuaded by the regimes which are…

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Discussion of Koskenniemi “The Politics of International Law – 20 Years Later”

Editors Note: This is an updated featured post. More recent posts appear below This week, we host an online discussion (see below) of the Special Anniversary Article by Prof. Martti Koskennimi which opens the current issue of EJIL. The full text of the article - "The Politics of International Law - 20 Years Later" - is available…

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The Tension between International Law as ‘Law’ and International Governance: A Comment on the EJIL Debate between Mónica García-Salmones and Andrew Lang and Rosie Cooney

Dr Caroline Foster is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and was a diplomat and legal adviser at the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She has a special interest in the nexus between trade, human rights and the environment and she has…

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Taking Uncertainty Seriously: Adaptive Governance and International Trade:A Rejoinder to Mónica García-Salmones

Andrew Lang and Rosie Cooney respond to Mónica García-Salmones' comments on their article "Taking Uncertainty Seriously: Adaptive Governance and International Trade" published in (2007) 18 EJIL 523. A version of this response, with footnotes and full references can be found in (2009) 20 EJIL (see…

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Taking Uncertainty Seriously: Adaptive Governance and International Trade: A Reply

Mónica García-Salmones is an LLD student and Research Fellow at the Erik Castrén Institute for International Law and Human Rights at the University of Helsinki, Finland. The post below introduces and summarises her recent article in the EJIL, the full text of which is available at the EJIL website (see here)…

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