Preaching, Practicing and Publishing International Criminal Justice: Academic Expertise and the Development of an International Field of Law

In: International Criminal Law Review
Mikkel Jarle Christensen Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

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The article investigates the role of scholarly expertise in and around the international criminal courts. Building on the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu, the article analyses the influence of different forms of scholarship by situating them in the wider ‘field’ of international criminal law. Structured by opposing poles of social worth organized around different perceptions of what is considered valuable knowledge, scholarship on international criminal law took competing forms. A dominant form of scholarship is oriented towards societal impact and caters to legal practice, while more critical perspectives adhere to norms of disinterest and autonomy embedded in academia. Formatted by the larger field of practice in which they exist and by their relative proximity to the opposing poles of societal and academic power and prestige, these perspectives structure the professional rules that govern the field and thus affect the development of its law by defining what is perceived as relevant knowledge.

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