TWAIL: a Paradox within a Paradox

In: International Community Law Review
Mohsen al Attar Associate Professor, School of Law, University of Warwick Coventry UK

Search for other papers by Mohsen al Attar in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



What insight do critical perspectives bring to international legal theory? In the following article, I answer this question through an examination of Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL). Troubled by geopolitical imbalance in the enterprise of international law, a group of critically minded scholars sought to expand the scope of legal scholarship. They would do so by growing a scholarly community sensitive to Third World concerns in their engagement with international law. Movements are known to collapse just as quickly as they sprout and it is testament to TWAIL’s force that, twenty years on, it is still gaining momentum. Self-described as a theory, method, sensibility, movement, and, as per the moniker, approach, TWAIL’s place in legal theory remains ambiguous. Drawing on a range of TWAIL scholars as well as journeymen commentators, I investigate, first, how its scholars represent TWAIL’s theoretical credentials and, second, where its contribution fits in the field.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1788 518 90
Full Text Views 228 84 14
PDF Views & Downloads 556 242 35