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The turn to history in international law and the sources doctrine : Critical approaches and methodological imaginaries

Arvidsson, Matilda LU and Bak McKenna, Miriam LU (2019) In Leiden Journal of International Law 33(1). p.37-56
Abstract

Expanding now familiar debates about the impact of the 'historical turn' upon the field of international law, this article considers some of the different ways in which 'turn to history' scholars have confronted the methodological and theoretical tensions arising from the central, yet paradoxical, role occupied by the sources doctrine in international law. We suggest that the anxiety over the sources of international law as the basic methodological precepts of the discipline has been a catalyzing element for a radical reengagement with the canon of international law, one with a significant impact on the field's existing parameters and doctrinal limits. Within the three streams of scholarship we explore here, history has become a site of... (More)

Expanding now familiar debates about the impact of the 'historical turn' upon the field of international law, this article considers some of the different ways in which 'turn to history' scholars have confronted the methodological and theoretical tensions arising from the central, yet paradoxical, role occupied by the sources doctrine in international law. We suggest that the anxiety over the sources of international law as the basic methodological precepts of the discipline has been a catalyzing element for a radical reengagement with the canon of international law, one with a significant impact on the field's existing parameters and doctrinal limits. Within the three streams of scholarship we explore here, history has become a site of creative engagement for scholars in opening up the discipline to diverse ends, one in which a new doctrinal universe can be created, and new issues, sources, subjects, and approaches can be explored. Yet, by opening up international law's sources doctrine, reactionary causes and unjust ends may equally well be the result. This account is an attempt at diversifying the narrative surrounding the causal relationship between history and the ongoing changes to the field of international law, along with the differential practices, techniques and epistemological foundations behind the history of international law as an evolving discipline, and of the different scholarly motivations of its specialists.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
International law, Crisis, Democratization, Historiography, Sources doctrine, 'turn to history' in international law, Internationell rätt, Rättshistoria
in
Leiden Journal of International Law
volume
33
issue
1
pages
20 pages
publisher
CUP
external identifiers
  • scopus:85079277637
ISSN
0922-1565
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
99ec0190-8928-4e67-a28e-1dc34aaf590d
date added to LUP
2020-02-20 12:30:19
date last changed
2020-03-22 06:40:13
@article{99ec0190-8928-4e67-a28e-1dc34aaf590d,
  abstract     = {<p>Expanding now familiar debates about the impact of the 'historical turn' upon the field of international law, this article considers some of the different ways in which 'turn to history' scholars have confronted the methodological and theoretical tensions arising from the central, yet paradoxical, role occupied by the sources doctrine in international law. We suggest that the anxiety over the sources of international law as the basic methodological precepts of the discipline has been a catalyzing element for a radical reengagement with the canon of international law, one with a significant impact on the field's existing parameters and doctrinal limits. Within the three streams of scholarship we explore here, history has become a site of creative engagement for scholars in opening up the discipline to diverse ends, one in which a new doctrinal universe can be created, and new issues, sources, subjects, and approaches can be explored. Yet, by opening up international law's sources doctrine, reactionary causes and unjust ends may equally well be the result. This account is an attempt at diversifying the narrative surrounding the causal relationship between history and the ongoing changes to the field of international law, along with the differential practices, techniques and epistemological foundations behind the history of international law as an evolving discipline, and of the different scholarly motivations of its specialists.</p>},
  author       = {Arvidsson, Matilda and Bak McKenna, Miriam},
  issn         = {0922-1565},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {37--56},
  publisher    = {CUP},
  series       = {Leiden Journal of International Law},
  title        = {The turn to history in international law and the sources doctrine : Critical approaches and methodological imaginaries},
  url          = {https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/ws/files/77244984/turn_to_history_in_international_law_and_the_sources_doctrine_critical_approaches_and_methodological_imaginaries.pdf},
  volume       = {33},
  year         = {2019},
}