The international legal concept of extraterritoriality reflects some of the most pressing questions within the profession: the scope and legitimacy of juridical authority, the designation of relevant actors and actions, and the distribution of power within networks of global governance. Two approaches are generally adopted by international law scholars with respect to the theme of extraterritoriality: technical analysis and contextualisation. If technical modes of legal analysis concerning extraterritoriality tend to minimise ideological and theoretical considerations, they also incorporate historical considerations in a highly stylised manner. Scholars typically go about this through a series of rehearsed moves: defining extraterritoriality, identifying key cases and statutory backgrounds, and compartmentalising its application into discrete legal contexts. Regardless of the scholar’s substantive position, technical approaches to extraterritoriality seem to share certain costs and benefits. The role of the scholar resembles an intellectual renaissance figure in an age plagued not so much by doctrinal confusion or under-contextualised historical sensibility, but ‘complexity’.