Skip to main content

International Law in the Historical Present Tense


Since it is traditionally labelled the most neglected aspect of the field, different triggering factors might account for the so-called ‘historical turn’ in international law in the post-Cold War era. On the material side, the preconditions for professional work in this area have been met by a certain democratization of research brought about by the progressive incorporation of new technologies and a trendy rising demand for international lego-historically oriented work from the publishing side. The emergence of specialist journals, the consecration – as a matter of editorial policy – of special issues in reputed publications to key historical doctrinal figures of international law, and the appearance of a number of emblematic book-length works (which have, in their turn, contributed to feeding the industry of historical international legal commentary) feature both as cause and as nurturing ongoing effect of the contemporary ‘global surge of interest in the history of international law and its scholarship’. While admittedly receptive in its evolutionary dynamics to these favourable background material academic conditions, a number of intra-disciplinary rationales should be concomitantly examined so as to account for the accompanying scholarly spiritual drive that has made it possible that the history of international law might today claim a disciplinary status of its own.

Hide All

1 Lessafer, R., ‘The Grotian Tradition Revisited: Change and Continuity in the History of International Law’, (2003) 73 British Yearbook of International Law 103.

2 M. Craven, ‘Introduction: International Law and Its Histories,’ in M. Craven, M. Fitzmaurice, and M. Vogiatzi (eds.), Time, History and International Law (2007), 1. For the previous coinage of a similar expression, see G. R. Bandeira Galindo, ‘Martti Koskenniemi and the Historiographical Turn in International Law’, (2005) 16 EJIL 539.

3 This affirmation is clearly not intended to minimize the relevance of historically oriented efforts produced before the end of the Cold War in the field of international law. For an introductory survey, see Macalister-Smith, P. and Schwietzke, J., ‘Literature and Documentary Sources Relating to the History of Public International Law: An Annotated Bibliographical Survey’, (1999) 1 Journal of the History of International Law, 136. For a critique of the prevailing earlier methods of historiographical research in the field of international law at the time, see M. Koskenniemi, The Gentle Civilizer of Nations: The Rise and Fall of International Law 1870–1960 (2001), at 6–10.

4 The flagship of the specialist publishing side in this area has been the establishment in 1999 of the Journal of the History of International Law/Revue d'histoire du droit international; see Macdonald, R. St. J., ‘Editorial’, (1999) 1 Journal of the History of International Law 1.

5 See the pioneering efforts in the series published by the European Journal of International Law on the European tradition of international law, including special issues devoted to Georges Scelle ((1990) 1 EJIL 193), Dionisio Anzilotti ((1992) 3 EJIL 92), Alfred Verdross ((1995) 6 EHIL 32), Hersch Lauterpacht ((1997) 8 EJIL 215), Hans Kelsen ((1998) 9 EJIL 287), Charles de Visscher ((2000) 11 EJIL 871), Alf Ross ((2003) 14 EJIL 653), and Max Huber ((2007) 18 EJIL 80). See also the Periphery Series special issues published by the Leiden Journal on Alejandro Alvarez ((2006) 19 LJIL 875) and Taslim Olawale Elias ((2008) 21 LJIL 289).

6 See, among others, since 2000, e.g. Koskenniemi, supra note 3; A. Anghie, Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law (2004); G. Simpson, Great Powers and Outlaw States (2004), B. Rajagopal, International Law from Below (2003), R. Kolb, Les cours généraux de droit international de l'Académie de droit international de La Haye (2003); or E. Jouannet, Vattel and the Emergence of Classic International Law (2009).

7 A case in point is the scholarly attention received by Koskenniemi, supra note 3. On the review essay category, see Bandeira Galindo, supra note 2, 539; as well as Cryer, R., ‘Déjà vu in International Law’, (2002) 65 Modern Law Review 931. For shorter book reviews on this particular work see Simons, P., ‘Review’, (2006) 8 Journal of the History of International Law 1087; Mettraux, G., ‘Review’, (2003) 3 International Criminal Law Review 79; Emberland, M., ‘Review’, (2003) 52 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 272; R. Müllerson, ‘Review’, (2002) 13 EJIL 727; A. W. B. Simpson, ‘Review’, (2002) 96 AJIL 995; Hueck, I., ‘Review’, (2003) 21 German History 425; Clark, I., ‘Review’, (2004) 23 Australian Yearbook of International Law 203; ‘Review’, (2003) 74 British Year Book of International Law 370; Stolleis, M., ‘Review’, (2004) 73 Nordic Journal of International Law 265; Johnston, D. M., ‘Review’, (2004) 4 International Journal of Legal Information, 538; Madsen, M. Rask, ‘Review’, (2004) 47 Acta Sociologica 105; De la Rasilla, I., ‘Recensión bibliográfica’, (2008) 16 Revista Electrónica de Estudios Internacionales 1.

8 Other factors worth noting include the concomitant editorial sympathy with which specialized journals have been increasingly welcoming historically based approaches to the discipline as well as the scheduling of new opportunities for scholarly collaborative work on the lego-international historical field. See, e.g., the historically oriented contents of Volume 73 of the British Year Book of International Law (2003); and E. Jouannet, H. Ruiz Fabri, and Jean-Marc Sorel (eds.), Le droit international vu par une génération de juristes (2007).

9 M. Lauri, ‘The History of International Legal Theory in Russia: A Civilisational Dialogue with Europe’, (2008) 19 EJIL 211, at 213.

10 It should be noted that the original publication dates of the selected essays in the compilation under review range from 1993 to 2007. Berman's first scholarly publication in the form of an article is ‘Sovereignty in Abeyance: Self-Determination and International Law’, (1988) 7 Wisconsin Journal of International Law 51.

11 Berman's work is the second instalment of the French collection Doctrine(s). The first was M. Koskenniemi, La politique du droit International (2007). New volumes of this CERDIN's collection include O. Corten, Le droit international comme argument: pour un positivisme critique (2009), and D. Kennedy, Pensée critique et nouvelles approches sur le droit international (2009). The translations in the work under review are excellent.

12 Koskenniemi, M., ‘Why History of International Law Today?’, (2004) 4 Rechtsgeschichte 61.

13 B. Delcourt, ‘Short Review’ of N. Berman, Passions et ambivalences: Le colonialisme, le nationalisme et le droit international, Global Law Books (2008), available at

14 Koskenniemi, supra note 12, 61.

15 Koskenniemi, supra note 3.

16 Koskenniemi, supra note 12, 61.

17 Kennedy, D., ‘International Law and the Nineteenth Century: History of an Illusion’, (1997) 17 Quinnipiac Law Review 99, at 110. Originally published in (1996) 65 Nordic Journal of International Law 385.

19 Ibid., at 118.

20 Ibid., 110.

21 See Kennedy explaining how this ‘nineteenth century memory inaugurated a disciplinary anti-intellectualism’; ibid., 116.

22 Koskenniemi, supra note 3, 4.

23 B. Simma, ‘Editorial’, (1992) 3 EJIL 1, at 2.

24 See, however, how the Spanish international legal doctrine prolongs its works of the 1920s and 1930s on the authors of its Siglo de Oro until, at least, the 1960s. See A. Remiro Brotons, ‘El discreto encanto – y desencanto – de la Revista Española del Derecho Internacional (1948–1978)’ in Estudios de Derecho Internacional: Libro-homenaje al Prof. A. Miaja de la Muela, Vol. 1 (1979), 123.

25 Koskenniemi, supra note 12, at 63.

26 The nature of the historical turn in international law is very different from the so-called historical turn in American legal liberalism theorized by Laura Kalman. This was understood as a turn by legal liberals to history by the mid-1980s in order to countervail the disciplinary attacks suffered by legal liberalism in US academia from, among others, the poles of law and economics and critical legal studies. While, correspondingly, only the future evolution of the historical turn in international law may well prove warranted the tracing of a parallelism in this regard, there is undoubtedly room for an attempt at examining comparatively both disciplinary ‘historical turns’ in American legal liberalism and international law. Any attempt to do so at present will, however, largely exceed the scope of this review and amount to a diversion from its object and purpose. Thanks go to an anonymous reviewer of LJIL for drawing attention to the possibility of this connection. See L. Kalman, The Strange Career of Legal Liberalism (1996).

27 Koskenniemi, supra note 12.

28 Ibid., at 63.

29 Ibid., at 64.

32 According to Koskenniemi ‘there are, at least, three directions in which an invigorated study of the history of public international law could profitably develop’: first, ‘towards an intellectual history of international law’; second, ‘focus on the West and its “other”’, and, third, ‘towards a historical sociology of international law’, see Koskenniemi, supra note 12, at 64–6.

33 Bandeira Galindo, supra note 2.

34 Craven, supra note 2, at 5.

36 Ibid. It is worth noting that M. Craven is referring to the much-debated rule-oriented approach to the emerging right to democratic governance in its intra-state dimension. For a recollection of some of the fundamental articles on the democratic debate see R. Burchill (ed.), Democracy and International Law (2006). For an excellent review of the latter work see (2006) 39 Revue belge de droit international 778.

37 Koskenniemi, M., ‘Constitutionalism as Mindset: Reflections on Kantian Themes about International Law and Globalisation’, (2007) 8 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 1, at 12; I. Kant, ‘Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose’, in I. Kant, Political Writings (1991), 41.

38 M. Koskenniemi, ‘International Law in a Post-realist Era’, (1995) 16 Australian Yearbook of International Law 1.

39 Armin von Bogdandy, ‘The Telos of International Law: Christian Tomuschat's General Course and the Evolution of the Universalist Tradition’, in P.-M. Dupuy et al. (eds.), Common Values in International Law: Essays in Honour of Christian Tomuschat (2006), 703 at 721.

40 B. Fassbender, ‘The Meaning of International Constitutional Law’, in N. Tsagourias (ed.), Transnational Constitutionalism: International and European Perspectives (2007), 307, 312.

41 B. O. Bryde, ‘International Democratic Constitutionalism’, in R. St-J. Macdonald and D. M. Johnston (eds.), Towards World Constitutionalism: Issues in the Legal Ordering of the World Community (2005), 103 at 105.

42 On ‘the neoconservative interregnum’, see de la Rasilla, I., ‘Apuntes críticos para una teoría neoconservadora del Derecho internacional’ (2008) 20 Revue québécoise de droit international 165.

43 D. Kennedy, ‘My Talk at the ASIL: What Is New Thinking in International Law?’, (2001) 94 ASIL 104, at 107.

44 Craven, supra note 2, 5

45 Koskenniemi, supra note 12, at 5.

47 Tesón, F. R., ‘The Kantian Theory of International Law’ (1992) 92 Columbia Law Review 53. For a take on Tesón's work see I. de la Rasilla del Moral, ‘All Roads Lead to Rome or the Liberal Cosmopolitan Agenda as a Blueprint for a Neoconservative Legal Order’, (2007) 7 Global Jurist (Advances) 1.

48 See, e.g., A. Fischer-Lescano and G. Teubner, ‘Regime-Collisions: The Vain Search for Legal Unity in the Fragmentation of Global Law’, (2003–4) 25 Michigan Journal of International Law 999.

49 Kennedy supra note 17, at 107.

50 N. Berman, ‘Dans le sillage de l'empire’, in N. Berman, Passions et ambivalences: Le colonialisme, le nationalisme et le droit international (2008), 47.

51 Craven, supra note 2, 5

52 Kennedy, D., ‘Primitive Legal Scholarship’, (1986) 27 Harvard International Law Journal 1.

53 The latter have been exemplified, in the present context, by the end of the Cold War or by international crises, such as the new ‘war on terror’. See Craven, supra note 2, at 8.

54 Koskenniemi, supra note 12, at 64.

55 See especially Hueck, I. J.., ‘The Discipline of the History of International Law: New Trends and Methods on the History of International Law’, (2001) 3 Journal of the History of International Law 194, at 212–17.

56 See, e.g., Cass, D., ‘Navigating the New Stream: Recent Critical Legal Scholarship in International Law’ (1996) 65 Nordic Journal of International Law 341.

57 Chimni, B. S., ‘The Past, Present and Future of International Law: A Critical Third World Approach’, (2007) 8 Melbourne Journal of International Law 14.

58 See, e.g., M. Foucault, ‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History’, in D. F. Bouchard (ed.), Language, Counter-memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews (1977), 139.

59 As noted in B. Golder, ‘Foucault and the Incompletion of Law’, (2008) 21 LJIL 747, at 750; for the use of Foucault to ‘help theorize third world resistances of practices of development’ see Rajagopal, supra note 6. See, further, among other examples in international legal writing, Anne Orford on the use of the notion of disciplinary power in international law in A. Orford, Reading Humanitarian Intervention: Human Rights and the Use of Force in International Law (2003), 76.

60 See among the extensive bibliography A. Thacker, ‘Foucault and the Writing of History’, in M. Lloyd and A. Thacker (eds.), The Impact of Michel Foucault on the Social Sciences and Humanities (1997), 29. See also A. Beaulieu and D. Gabbard (eds.), Michel Foucault and Power Today: International Multidisciplinary Studies in the History of the Present (2006).

61 Foucault, supra note 58, 162. One might leave open the question of whether by making reference to the dissipation of the identity of international law one would ultimately be referring to an attack on the foundations of the apodictic conception of time that undergirds a Kantian type of juridical ethics.

62 See, e.g., G. Minda, Postmodern Legal Movements: Law and Jurisprudence at Century's End (1995).

63 Alternatively, one which ‘remains always present, through the discontinuities, the existence of an unconscious discursive structure’ – see earlier quotation in the text of page 35, supra.

64 D. W. Kennedy and W. Fisher III (eds.), The Canon of American Legal Thought (2006). In Spanish, Kennedy, D. W., ‘Lon L. Fuller y el canon del pensamiento legal estadounidense’ (2009) 4 Revista Internacional de Pensamiento Politico 250.

65 For a book entirely devoted to offering a thematically ordered perspective to the scholarly literature associated with critical legal studies, see R. W. Bauman, Critical Legal Studies: A Guide to the Literature (1996).

66 To name but two, its objection to the formalism of previous legal and social thought and its emphasis on the interplay of external factors or biases in the development of legal doctrine or the fear of reification of legal concepts. See for an introduction E. G. White, ‘Round and Round the Bramble Bush: From Legal Realism to Critical Legal Scholarship’ (1984) 95 Harvard Law Review 1669.

67 Obviously, this type of ‘post-realist theory’ should not be confounded with the ‘post-realist age’ mentioned earlier by reference to M. Koskenniemi's work. The first one broadly refers to the emergence of the Legal Process School in the history of American legal theory; see H. M. Hart and A. M. Sacks, The Legal Process: Basic Problems in the Making and Application of Law (1958). On the other hand, by post-realism in the international field one will be referring to the drive towards the universalization of the pre-eminence of the rule of law on the international plane understood as a post-Cold War situational paradigm. See as an introduction Koskenniemi, M., ‘International Law in a Post-realist Era’, (1995) 16 Australian Yearbook of International Law 1.

68 Kennedy, D., ‘Critical Theory, Structuralism and Contemporary Legal Scholarship’, (1985–6) 21 New England Law Review 209, at 209, 210. David Kennedy, while noting that ‘generalizations about the conference on the Critical Legal Studies, founded in 1977, are difficult’, ‘the intellectual legacies of the school extend beyond legal realism and include inter alia Marxism, new left anarchism, Sartrean existentialism, Structuralism, Neo-progressive historiography, liberal sociology, radical social theory, empirical social science’. See further ibid., for bibliographical references.

69 Ibid., at 271.

71 Duncan Kennedy, ‘Form and Substance in Private Law Adjudication’, (1976) 88 Harvard Law Review 1685, recollected in Kennedy and Fisher, supra note 64, at 645.

72 M. Koskenniemi, From Apology to Utopia: The Structures of the International Legal Argument, reissue with a new epilogue (2005).

73 Otherwise, ‘The more sophisticated a person's legal thinking, regardless of her political stance, the more likely she is to believe that all issues within a doctrinal field reduce to a single dilemma of the degree of collective as opposed to individual self-determination.’ Kennedy, Duncan, ‘The Structure of Blackstone's Commentaries’, (1979) 28 Buffalo Law Review 205, at 213.

74 A. Rasulov, ‘International Law and the Poststructuralist Challenge’ (2000) 19 LJIL 799, at 800.

75 D. Kennedy, supra note 68, 276.

76 D. Kennedy offers in its work a clear example of this post-structuralist challenge in stressing that ‘neither structuralism nor critical theory has provided a method which lawyers can deploy against their theoretical and doctrinal malaise’, something which he identifies as ‘transcending the theory/practice distinction’. See D. W. Kennedy, supra note 68.

77 See P. Goodrich, D. Gray Carlson (eds.), Law and the Postmodern Mind: Essays on Psychoanalysis and Jurisprudence (1998).

78 S. M. Feldman, American Legal Thought from Premodernism to Postmodernism: An Intellectual Voyage (2000). See also Kennedy, Duncan, ‘A Semiotics of Critique’, (2001) 22 Cardozo Law Review 1147. In this essay, widely regarded as an iconic academic embodiment of a shared background generational critical legal project, one of the historical forerunners of CLS proposes an examination of ‘what one might call the theory langue of critical legal studies’, by both defining and analysing ‘four genealogies within critical thought broadly conceived’, and by noting that ‘deploying the genealogies against one another is as much a part of crit theoretical practice as the combination of bits from the genealogies into discrete theories’. The author, who notes that, ‘within critical theory, I am, like everyone else, self-taught’, terms these genealogies in making them correspond to his ‘argument about how to interpret them, rather than according to more familiar usages’ into ‘Organicism (Hegel, Ruskin, Parsons), antinomianism (Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre), structuralism (Marx, Freud, Foucault) and semiotics (Saussure, Lévi-Strauss, Derrida)’, each of them, in their turn, ‘possessing a rationalist and irrationalist variant’.

79 Several of the essays are also contained in the present compilation and are gathered as thematic exponents of CLS methodology in international law in Bauman's work, supra note 65, at 153–4.

80 Singer, J. W., ‘Legal Realism Now’, (1988) 76 California Law Review 465, at 503 ff.

81 For a general introduction from a European formalist-oriented perspective, see Cot, J. P., ‘Tableau de la pensée juridique américaine’, (2006) 110 Revue générale de droit international public, 537. For a more critically oriented perspective see the analysis of the pedigree of anti-formalism in American international legal thinking in Koskenniemi, supra note 3. For a history of American legal thought and the differences between American and European cultures in connection to the left/modernist-postmodernist critique (left/mpm) in US legal academia, see especially D. Kennedy, A Critique of Adjudication: Fin de Siècle (1997).

82 For a portrayal as ‘a reaction against American classical thought which in turn was a reaction against pre-classical legal thought’ see Singer, J. W., ‘Legal Realism Now’ (1988) 76 California Law Review 465, at 476, noting that ‘it is impossible to understand legal realism without placing it in historical context’.

83 White, supra note 66, at 1677.

84 See also R. W. Gordon, ‘Critical Legal Histories’ (1984) 36 Stanford Law Review 57, noting how critical legal writers ‘have probably devoted more pages to historical description – particularly the intellectual history of legal doctrine – than to anything else’ (at 57), as well as explaining the diverging understanding of the fundamental law and society dichotomy as it affects formalism and American legal realism – as ‘the great antagonistic parties of modern American legal thought’ gathered, for simplicity's sake, under the common shelter of ‘evolutionary functionalism’ (at 66).

85 Kennedy, Duncan, ‘The Paradox of American Legal Realism’, (1997) 3 European Law Journal 366.

86 Ibid., at 367, noting that ‘There are two parts to the realist heritage: the critique of the coherence of the private law regime of contracts, property and torts, and the critique of the assumed ideological neutrality of judicial decision making in hard cases.’

87 Berman, N., ‘Against the Wrong and the Dead: A Genealogy of Left/mpm’, (2000–1) 22 Cardozo Law Review 1005, at 1008.

88 Ibid.. D. Kennedy also refers to how ‘one could as well expand the list (of postructuralists) to include Breton and more conventional surrealists’, Kennedy, supra note 68, at 278.

89 Kennedy, supra note 85, 359.

90 Kennedy, supra note 81, 6–7.

91 Berman, N., ‘Modernism, Nationalism, and the Rhetoric of Reconstruction’ (1992) 4 Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities 351, at 352.

92 Ibid., at 380.

94 Duncan Kennedy, ‘Nota sobre la historia de CLS en los Estados Unidos’ (1992) 11 Doxa 283, at 287, already noting the emergence of an internal debate between the possibility of the coexistence of hypercritical postmodernist attitudes with the programmatic aspirations of the multicultural activists.

95 J. Derrida, Of Grammatology, rev. edn by G. Chakravorty Spivak (1997), 4.

96 For an explanation by the author of how ‘the extreme hyposthasis hypostase of structure’ of C. Levi-Strauss ‘was criticized by Derrida, a criticism that has also influenced my theoretical position’, see Berman, supra note 50, at 64. See also J. Derrida, ‘La Structure, le signe et le jeu dans le discours des sciences humaines’, in J. Derrida, L'Ecriture et la difference (1967).

97 The seminal essay in international legal scholarship is D. Kennedy, ‘Theses about International Law Discourse’, (1980) 23 German Yearbook of International Law 353, yet a greater generational doctrinal impact might be ascribed to Kennedy, D., ‘A New Stream of International Legal Scholarship’, (1988) 7 Wisconsin International Law Journal 1. See, as an introduction, N. Purvis, ‘Critical Legal Studies in Public International Law’, (1991) 32 Harvard International Law Journal 81.

98 T. Skouteris, ‘FIN de NAIL: New Approaches to International Law and Its Impact on Contemporary International Legal Scholarship’, (1997) 10 LJIL 415. See also D. Kennedy, ‘The Disciplines of International Law and Policy’, (1999) 12 LJIL 9.

99 E.g. White, supra note 66, 1685

100 See supra note 11.

101 Kennedy, supra note 94, at 287, already noting the emergence of an internal debate between the possibility of coexistence of hypercritical post-modernist attitudes with the programmatic aspirations of the multicultural activists.

102 See further Kennedy, supra note 98, 9. The law and society and Marxist strands of the first generation of CLS (vid. previous references to the original influence of the Frankfurt School and its ‘critical theory as well the left-wing political action orientation vis-à-vis the “mpm” distinction of the CLS strands’) remain a powerful force behind the more marked influence of post-structuralism in NAIL, conceived as a loose and per definitionem eclectic association of critical legal scholarship. On the other hand, it is worth noting that some of the forerunners of the postmodern turn in international law do make a profession of an old-school-leftist lineage in their work; see, e.g. A. Carty, Philosophy of International Law (2007); and A. Carty, The Decay of International Law (1986). See further Kennedy, supra note 68.

103 As far as the familiar identification with the current methods of international law is concerned, see S. R. Ratner and A.-M. Slaughter (eds.), The Methods of International Law (2004).

104 Berman himself refers extensively to an array of Third World international legal scholars and others supportive of the Third World positions put forward in his work, including B. S. Chimni, A. Anghie, J. Gathii, G. Rajagopal, D. Kennedy, V. Nesiah, A. Orford, and A. Riles. See the recent special issue by various authors, ‘Situating Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL): Inspirations, Challenges and Possibilities’, (2008) 10 International Community Law Review. See also the special issue on the ‘Third World and International Law’, (2007) 9 International Community Law Review.

105 See, e.g., in the present compilation the attention paid at length to the position of Judge Ammoun (at 311–16).

106 Chimni, B. S., ‘The Past, Present and Future of International Law: A Critical Third World Approach’, (2007) 8 Melbourne Journal of International Law 499.

107 Derrida, supra note 95.

108 Explained by Berman here as an adaptation of Freud's notion of ‘Nachträglichkeit’, in current use among Lacanians (at 55, n. 17).

109 N. Berman, ‘The Appeals of the Orient: Colonized Desire and the War of the Riff’, in K. Knop (ed.), Gender and Human Rights (2004), 195 at 196.

110 For a very illuminating introduction to that critical legal tradition, see Orford, supra note 59, at 38.

111 Ibid.

112 An author whose influence Berman gladly acknowledges alongside that of a variety of critiques of Said's work.

113 For a general introduction see S. Best and D. Kellner, Postmodern Theory: Critical Interrogations (1991).

114 The author demarcates his use of the term ‘international legal modernism’ from other uses of it. The author refers explicitly to R. Falk, The Status of Law in International Society (1970), 41 – describing ‘modernism’ as requiring international law to take into account political context – and to Q. Wright, The Study of International Relations (1955), 8 – describing ‘modernism’ as combining ‘medieval and Renaissance conceptions of natural law with new conceptions of international organization’. Instead, he argues that ‘by situating international legal modernism historically as one version of the general phenomenon of cultural modernism, one arrives at a deeper and more critical understanding of twentieth-century international law and legal theory’ (147).

115 Kennedy, D., ‘Thinking against the Box’, (1999–2000) 32 New York Journal of International Law and Politics 491.

116 Berman, supra note 91, 352.

117 As we had already seen in the previous examination of the roots of the so-called ‘historical turn in international law’ by reference to the pointed out as the post-neoconservative momentum gained of international constitutionalist-oriented ‘narratives of continuation with the past’. See, supra section 2in fine.

118 One which, for example, covers in great detail the legal arguments of the parties behind the conspicuous dictum of the ICJ in the 1923 Nationality Decrees Advisory Opinion, at 277, in order to offer an analysis which is ‘almost the opposite of the canonical interpretation later offered’, at 310.

119 Understood in the ‘historically specific sense of the early twentieth century movement for cultural and political renewal’. Berman, supra note 91, at 365.

120 R. Redslob, Le principe des nationalités (1930), 38.

121 Berman, supra note 91, 358.

122 Ibid., at 357.

123 See ibid. for an examination of Picasso's Les demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), at 358–60. See further the comparison the author draws between ‘four basic characteristics of Modernism’ and ‘four key elements of the new international law’, at 362.

124 Acknowledging the different forms of expression that its artistic counterpart engenders. It should also be noted that it is a trend of the interwar years existing alongside others, like, e.g., a Wilsonian liberal nationalism; a caveat stressed by the author as being important. Ibid., at 363.

125 A dimension that the author examines, from a theoretical perspective, in regard to the ambivalence between good and bad nationalisms, at 391, as well as, in practice, by connection to the debates on the legal status of the city of Jerusalem, at 403.

126 Jouannet devotes almost 40 pages in her enlightening introduction to an individualized and almost etymological dissection of it by reference to numerous complementary bibliographical sources (at 28).

127 Foucault, supra note 58, at 140.

128 Ibid., at 156.

129 A. Monterroso, Obras completas (y otros cuentos) (1959).

* Ph.D. candidate in international law, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva; research associate, Philosophy of Law Department, Seville University Pablo de Olavide; Visiting Global Governance, Law and Social Thought Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University; at the time of writing Visiting Scholar in International Studies at the Watson Institute as Research Fellow of Project of Excellence (TIC–02875) of Junta de Andalucía in Spain. The author wishes to thank two anonymous reviewers of LJIL for their sensible comments. Thanks also go to Professor B. S. Chimni for the always enlightening conversations and to Professor N. Berman for the generous scholarly disposition shown during the preparation of this work, as well as to all the participants at the 2009 Watson Institute seminar, ‘Critical Approaches to Global Governance’. All English translations from Emmanuelle Jouannet's introduction are by the author. Quotations from Berman's work have used – when these existed and were, furthermore, coincidental – the original English texts. The usual caveat applies.

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: 1
Total number of PDF views: 27 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 115 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 22nd March 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.