chapter  7
20 Pages

Orthodox generalists and political activists in international legal scholarship: Jörg Kammerhofer

This is a difficult argument. Criticizing one’s colleagues is fraught with the danger of being misunderstood as wanting to appear cleverer than they, which is emphatically not the case here. Yet the state of international legal scholarship today prompts the writing of this chapter, for while in general the academic climate in our field is exceptionally open and tolerant and while this tolerance extends to radical theories which have but the most tenuous connection to international law itself, the notion that legal scholars ought to focus on the law is not as easily accepted. It seems that scholars working on international law are tempted too much by factors beyond the sum total of the positive law to be able to restrict themselves to it. At crucial junctures non-legal factors, considerations and methods enter the argument of many writers on international law, so much so that international legal scholarship has retained a distinctive literary quality,1 rather than applying a more ‘scientific’ and ‘strict’ methodology.