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International Law TheoriesAn Inquiry into Different Ways of Thinking$
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Andrea Bianchi

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198725114

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198725114.001.0001

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Critical Legal Studies and the New Stream

Critical Legal Studies and the New Stream

(p.135) 7 Critical Legal Studies and the New Stream
International Law Theories

Andrea Bianchi

Oxford University Press

The chapter addresses the origins of the Critical Legal Studies movement with a view to reconstructing the conditions for its emergence as a movement of radical reform. The marked political character of the law, and its unavoidable indeterminacy, are some of the recurrent themes of the movement that have been later imported into international law by a ‘New Stream’ of international law scholars. The questions discussed include: What are the consequences of the indeterminacy thesis? Are there limits to a deconstructivist approach? What is the audience addressed by this particular strand of scholarship? Can a critical project be at the core of a discipline and be turned into its very identity? Issues of style and a certain tendency by its adherents to be self-referential and use cryptic language are also examined. Finally, the impact of critical theory on the self-image of the profession of international lawyers is highlighted.

Keywords:   critical legal studies, CLS, law and politics, critical theory, legal indeterminacy, deconstructivism

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