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Article: Reconceptualizing the International Legal Regime: Law, Politics, and Institutions

TitleReconceptualizing the International Legal Regime: Law, Politics, and Institutions
Authors
Issue Date2009
Citation
Northwestern Interdisciplinary Law Review, 2009, v. 2, p. 57-68 How to Cite?
AbstractInternational legal scholarship has for so long taken the "Classical Question" of whether international law is true law or not as the starting point of inquiry. In this paper, I will demonstrate that this is a loophole which will lead observers to ignore many other important dimensions of international law. Given that the label "law" does not carry any meaningful essence in itself, I argue that attempts to insist on the Classical Question as the basis of analytical frameworks for the study of the international legal regime are fruitless. International law should instead, be primarily understood as a collectivity of social phenomena present in the complex international arena. Like any other human institution, it is non-static, not necessarily just, and embedded within, but not above, the political realm. I will further elaborate that the adoption of a depoliticized and value-freed approach to international law will place an observer at high risk of being inaccurate and may give rise to domination. Above all, I will reconceptualize international law as a decentralized constellation of political institutions integral to the international system. International law provides the norms and vocabulary that constitute only part of the rules of the often unequal and complicated game of international politics. If we have to enhance the lives of many by transforming and perfecting international governance, it is crucial to adequately take into account the existing barriers in the social and power structures which define the international society and its law. While international law could effect positive changes, it is also part of the problem to be tackled.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/233889

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorIp, Eric C.-
dc.date.accessioned2016-09-29T03:15:45Z-
dc.date.available2016-09-29T03:15:45Z-
dc.date.issued2009-
dc.identifier.citationNorthwestern Interdisciplinary Law Review, 2009, v. 2, p. 57-68-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/233889-
dc.description.abstractInternational legal scholarship has for so long taken the "Classical Question" of whether international law is true law or not as the starting point of inquiry. In this paper, I will demonstrate that this is a loophole which will lead observers to ignore many other important dimensions of international law. Given that the label "law" does not carry any meaningful essence in itself, I argue that attempts to insist on the Classical Question as the basis of analytical frameworks for the study of the international legal regime are fruitless. International law should instead, be primarily understood as a collectivity of social phenomena present in the complex international arena. Like any other human institution, it is non-static, not necessarily just, and embedded within, but not above, the political realm. I will further elaborate that the adoption of a depoliticized and value-freed approach to international law will place an observer at high risk of being inaccurate and may give rise to domination. Above all, I will reconceptualize international law as a decentralized constellation of political institutions integral to the international system. International law provides the norms and vocabulary that constitute only part of the rules of the often unequal and complicated game of international politics. If we have to enhance the lives of many by transforming and perfecting international governance, it is crucial to adequately take into account the existing barriers in the social and power structures which define the international society and its law. While international law could effect positive changes, it is also part of the problem to be tackled.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.relation.ispartofNorthwestern Interdisciplinary Law Review-
dc.titleReconceptualizing the International Legal Regime: Law, Politics, and Institutions-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailIp, Eric C.: ericcip@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityIp, Eric C.=rp02161-
dc.identifier.volume2-
dc.identifier.spage57-
dc.identifier.epage68-

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