The legalistic discourse

Sibylle Scheipers

in Negotiating Sovereignty and Human Rights

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780719080098
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781703021 | DOI:
The legalistic discourse

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This chapter covers the legalistic discourse which achieved a hegemonic position in the course of the debate about the ICC. The legalistic discourse draws upon the Enlightenment tradition and adopts its emphasis on progress understood as rationalisation, legalization and the professionalisation of politics. According to legalists, the ultimate telos of progress in international relations consists of a just and peaceful international order that is based upon international law. Moreover, proponents of legalism hold that such an international order has to be symmetrical in the sense that all states are considered as equal regardless of their actual size and power. A specific feature of the legalistic discourse is the fact that it comprises two different strands. The first perceives the international society of states as the most vital point of reference for human rights, whereas the second puts the world society of individuals to the fore.

Keywords: ICC; Enlightenment tradition; politics; international relations; legalism; human rights

Chapter.  11353 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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