The Critical Attitude and the History of International Law


This book questions the critical attitude that is informing the critical histories that have been flourishing since the ‘historical turn’ in international law. It makes the argument that the ‘historical turn’ falls short of being radically critical as the abounding critical histories which have come to populate the international literature over the last decades continue to be orchestrated along the very lines set by the linear historical narratives which they seek to question and disrupt, thereby repressing the imagination of international lawyers. It makes the point that the critical histories that have accompanied the ‘historical turn’ have contributed to the repression of disciplinary imagination just like other linear disciplinary histories. This book argues that the critical histories must move beyond a mere historiographical attitude and promotes radical historical critique in order to unbridle disciplinary imagination.

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Biographical Note

Jean d’Aspremont, Ph.D. (2005), Sciences Po School of Law and University of Manchester, is Professor of International Law. He has published extensively on questions of international law and international legal theory, including International Law as a Belief System (Cambridge University Press, 2017). His work has been translated in several languages including Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Japanese and Persian.


All interested in international law, international legal theory and the history of international law.

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