Theory of International Law

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The Field of Exception/the Field of Exclusion — Reflections for Martti Koskenniemi

Editors Note: This post was originally posted on EJIL:Talk! as a comment by Pål Wrange LLM, PhD (Stockholm) in response to last week's discussion on Prof. Koskenniemi's article. Mr Wrange, Principal Legal Advisor on public international law at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, is currently on leave of absence and working as a consultant in Kampala I have engaged with Martti's work since 1989, when I first read From Apology to Utopia (for example, see my Impartial or Uninvolved? The Anatomy of 20th Century Doctrine on the Law of Neutrality (Visby:, 2007) 62-73) . An academic gone practitioner (the opposite career move to Martti's, I have always felt at home in his texts - the mix of seriousness of purpose and irony of tone, the fealty to old-fashioned Bildung, the shared heritage of continental theory and Anglo-Saxon dominated practice.  His theoretical theses, like indeterminacy, have been addressed by me at quite some length elsewhere ­­- admiringly and critically (in the original sense of that world, of course). Instead of the usual…

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On the road to Avila? A Response to Koskenniemi

Professor Iain Scobbie, is the Sir Joseph Hotung Research Professor in Law, Human Rights and Peace Building in the Middle East, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London The burden of Professor Koskenniemi’s article appears to bear an uncanny likeness to St Teresa of Avila’s aphorism that answered…

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The Politics of International Law – Twenty Years Later: A Reply

Dr Jason Beckett is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Leicester (UK). His publications include The End of Customary Internaitonal Law: A Purposive Analyis of Structural Indeterminacy (2008) as well as a couple of articles in the European Journal of International Law (in 2001 (…

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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…

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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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