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19 - The Hidden Theology of International Legal Positivism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 May 2021

Pamela Slotte
Affiliation:
Åbo Akademi University
John D. Haskell
Affiliation:
University of Manchester
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Summary

This chapter is a study in the critical deconstruction of one of the most popular theoretical paradigms in modern international law and its basic ideological impact on international law as a discipline. The paradigm in question is voluntarist positivism, and the general thrust of its ideological impact on the discipline of international law, I am going to argue, has been to encourage within it the rise and spread of what one might call a theoretical culture of bad faith – a mix of false consciousness, self-censorship, and a “crooked attitude towards truth and knowledge”– particularly, in what concerns international law’s relationship with natural law and Christian theology.

The last two sentences use a lot of notoriously ambivalent concepts. For the prevention of doubt, let me explain briefly how I understand them in these pages.

Type
Chapter
Information
Christianity and International Law
An Introduction
, pp. 415 - 460
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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References

Recommended Reading

Fassbender, Bardo, and Peters, Anne, eds. The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.Google Scholar
Kammerhofer, Jörg, and d’Aspremont, Jean, eds. International Legal Positivism in a Post-Modern World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.Google Scholar
Kennedy, David. “A New World Order: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.” Transnational Law Contemporary Problems 4, no. 2 (1994): 329–76.Google Scholar
Kennedy, Duncan. A Critique of Adjudication: (fin de siècle). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.Google Scholar
Marks, Susan. The Riddle of All Constitutions: International Law, Democracy, and the Critique of Ideology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.Google Scholar
Olsen, Frances E.The Family and the Market: A Study of Ideology and Legal Reform.” Harvard Law Review 96, no. 7 (1983): 1497–578.Google Scholar

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