Article

New Approaches to International Law

Thomas Skouteris

in International Law

ISBN: 9780199796953
Published online March 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199796953-0012
New Approaches to International Law

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  • International Law
  • International Courts and Tribunals
  • Private International Law and Conflict of Laws
  • Public International Law

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New Approaches to International Law captions scholarly work that has become known under numerous rubrics, such as Critical Legal Studies, New Approaches to International Law, Newstream International Law, Feminist Approaches, Third World Approaches to International Law, Postcolonial Legal Studies, New Approaches to International Economic Law, Critical Race Theory, and more. New Approaches work does not easily fit within traditional classifications. Although discursive or other homologies among authors listed in this article could be discerned, there is no single ideology or methodology that unifies New Approaches work, better characterized by pluralistic politics and eclecticism. One unifying factor is the common desire to rethink the foundations of international law and create space for emancipatory politics, while responding to recent trends in economic, political, and social theory. Far from forming a coherent movement, this work should be seen more as a professional project, held together by a sense of belonging or recognition experienced by some of the participants. Group identity was more important during the late 1980s and until the symbolic creation and then dissolution of the New Approaches movement in 1997 (for example, “Fin de NAIL: A Celebration,” a conference at Harvard Law School in May 1997). Thereafter, New Approaches work has proliferated and diversified, reluctant to accept permanent affiliations. Its sociology has also become immensely more complex. A second generation of critical scholars emerged at the “center” and at the “periphery” of international law, socializing in vibrant international networks. In the meantime, first-generation figures received worldwide recognition and occupy leadership positions. The scope, aims, and objectives have also diversified to the extent that any effort to reduce New Approaches to a canon would be self-defeating. This article merely aims to provide a gateway to some characteristic strands of New Approaches work. One difficulty was the inherently interdisciplinary nature of the work, which evades (and detests) categorization. Another difficulty was how to represent the different influences of scholars belonging to different disciplinary generations. Emblematic figures of the movement are inevitably overrepresented on account of the volume and the seminal nature of their work. Younger scholars are represented with fewer entries per author but in larger numbers, accounting for today’s diversity in style and thematic orientation. Omissions should therefore be understood not as exclusions but as an inherent limitation of the project.

Article.  14712 words. 

Subjects: International Law ; International Courts and Tribunals ; Private International Law and Conflict of Laws ; Public International Law

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