Skip to main content

International Law After Postmodernism: Towards Renewal or Decline of International Law?

  • Andreas L. Paulus

Along with “globalization” and ideas of a “new world order”, the last 20 years have witnessed the emergence of an (anti-)foundational critique of international law which may be associated with the postmodernist turn of philosophy. In addition, globalization has questioned some of the basic assumptions of international law, especially the primordial role of states. The article analyses several answers postmodern international legal theory has given to the challenges for international law – despair, politicization, history, subjectivism(s), democratic experimentalism, and a return to positivism. It argues that postmodern theory fails to provide a concept for the future of international law but that this is exactly what is needed to save international law from politics and irrelevance. The author comes to the conclusion that a “middle-of-the-road”-approach steering a course between positivist objectivism and the subjective responsibility of the lawyer might be the most promising avenue for the future of international law. Wer mir Dekonstruktion ans Herz legt, und auf Differenz besteht, steht am Anfang eines Gesprächs, nicht an seinem Ziele.Hans-Georg Gadamer

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Leiden Journal of International Law
  • ISSN: 0922-1565
  • EISSN: 1478-9698
  • URL: /core/journals/leiden-journal-of-international-law
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed