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Critical International LawPostrealism, Postcolonialism, and Transnationalism$
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Prabhakar Singh and Benoît Mayer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199450633

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199450633.001.0001

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What’s Critical about Critical International Law?

What’s Critical about Critical International Law?

Reflections on the Emancipatory Potential of International Legal Scholarship*

Chapter:
(p.326) Afterword What’s Critical about Critical International Law?
Source:
Critical International Law
Author(s):

Sébastien Jodoin

Katherine Lofts

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199450633.003.0013

Critical international lawyers must make two strategic choices: they must first be intellectually honest and take a position on the issue of change, and then they must also pay attention to the concerns of the mainstream of the discipline and address the disconnect between the critical project and professional responsibilities. Drawing on Levinas’ concept of the ethics of alterity, the chapter argues that critical international law scholarship must deliver constructive proposals. Such scholarship must accordingly be ‘critical’ in several ways at once: it must be rigorous and uncompromising when identifying the imperfections of positive international law, but it must also assert its vitality by facing up to the consequences of its critique.

Keywords:   critical international law, Levinas, ethic of alterity

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