De‐ and Remythologizing International Law

Carlo Focarelli

in International Law as Social Construct

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199584833
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741012 | DOI:
De‐ and Remythologizing International Law

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This chapter explores how international law is socially constructed through epistemology, doctrine, and communication. It argues that legal doctrine constantly mythologizes, demythologizes, and remythologizes international law in various, often opposing directions, through Western categories and within a relatively closed circle of professionals. It presents nine theoretical models of international law from this perspective, namely, naturalism, positivism, realism, axiologism, deconstructionism, sociologism, constitutionalism, administrativism, and third-worldism. The chapter also contends that the construction of international law by the media, today crucial, is far from being widespread and effective as expected and needed. It suggests that international law should be remythologized by investigating the legal traditions known in comparative legal analysis, rather than by continuing to analyse it according to Western jurisprudential categories.

Keywords: epistemology; communication; naturalism; positivism; realism; axiologism; deconstructionism; sociologism; constitutionalism; western jurisprudence

Chapter.  33549 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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