Carlo Focarelli

in International Law as Social Construct

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199584833
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741012 | DOI:

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This chapter examines the meaning of law as a socially-constructed reality. It argues that law is a social construct ultimately founded in mythic belief. In any society, law is what is seen as such by those who see themselves as its addressees. Thus, law, including international law, is real and objective to any member of the community as imposed by the community as a whole. Without a mythic sense of commonality there can hardly be law. The discussion suggests that the fact that people are part of the process of law-making and unmaking creates a dynamic which both implies and calls for commitment and struggle. The struggle for law should be a struggle for justice, here understood as the protection of the most vulnerable.

Keywords: social construct; law; international law; mythic belief; justice

Chapter.  20682 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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