The Politics of International Law
DOI link for The Politics of International Law
The Politics of International Law book
This chapter extends the criticism of the liberal idea of the Rechtstaat, a commonplace in late modern western society, into its international counterpart. It shows our inherited ideal of a World Order based on the Rule of Law thinly hides from sight the fact that social conflict must still be solved by political means and that even though there may exist a common legal rhetoric among international lawyers. To show that international law is objective – that is, independent from international politics – the legal mind fights a battle on two fronts. Many of the doctrines which emerged from the ashes of legal scholarship at the close of the First World War explained the failure of pre-war international doctrines by reference to their apologist character. The formality of international law makes it possible for each state to read its substantive conception of world society as well as its view of the extent of sovereign freedom into legal concepts and categories.