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The Politics of International Law

By: Martti Koskenniemi
Media of The Politics of International Law
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Published: 10-06-2011
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 388
ISBN: 9781847316554
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £40.49
Online price : £32.39
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About The Politics of International Law

Today international law is everywhere. Wars are fought and opposed in its name. It is invoked to claim rights and to challenge them, to indict or support political leaders, to distribute resources and to expand or limit the powers of domestic and international institutions. International law is part of the way political (and economic) power is used, critiqued, and sometimes limited. Despite its claim for neutrality and impartiality, it is implicit in what is just, as well as what is unjust in the world. To understand its operation requires shedding its ideological spell and examining it with a cold eye. Who are its winners, and who are its losers? How - if at all - can it be used to make a better or a less unjust world?

In this collection of essays Professor Martti Koskenniemi, a well-known practitioner and a leading theorist and historian of international law, examines the recent debates on humanitarian intervention, collective security, protection of human rights and the 'fight against impunity' and reflects on the use of the professional techniques of international law to intervene politically. The essays both illustrate and expand his influential theory of the role of international law in international politics. The book is prefaced with an introduction by Professor Emmanuelle Jouannet (Sorbonne Law School), which locates the texts in the overall thought and work of Martti Koskenniemi.

Table Of Contents

Koskenniemi: A Critical Introduction by Emmanuelle Jouannet
Part I: The Politics of International Law
1. Between Apology to Utopia: The Politics of International Law
2. The Politics of International Law – 20 Years Later
Part II: The Law and Politics of Collective Security
3. The Place of Law in Collective Security
4. 'The Lady Doth Protest Too Much': Kosovo, and the Turn to Ethics in International Law
Part III: The Politics of Human Rights
5. The Effect of Rights on Political Culture
6. Human Rights, Politics and Love
Part IV: Limits and Possibilities of International Law
7. Between Impunity and Show Trials
8. Faith, Identity, and the Killing of the Innocent: International Lawyers and Nuclear Weapons
9. International Law and Hegemony: a Reconfiguration
10. What is International Law For?
Part V: The Spirit of International Law
11. Between Commitment and Cynicism: Outline for a Theory of International Law as Practice
12. Style as Method: Letter to the Editors of the Symposium
13. Miserable Comforters: International Relations as New Natural Law
14. The Fate of Public International Law: Between Technique and Politics


“The book's reflection upon the approaches, styles, and methods of this age and the past in the field of international law is both powerful and provocative, and the synthetic messages emanating from the myriad of strains of thought are of great force of persuasion. Its intensity in analysis and critique is remarkable, and the author does not mince his words. Given the book's distinct narrative style and the number of references to literature, it should be a recommended reading for postgraduate students and scholars in international law and international relations alike. The author's experience may be quite singular, but the viewpoint he possesses and reveals in the book is helpful to any that aspires to study and work in this field.” –  Bing Bing Jia, German Yearbook of International Law, Volume 53

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