The Strategies of Rupture in International Law: The Retrenchment of Conservative Politics and the Emancipatory Potential of the Impossible
John D. Haskell
Mississippi College - School of Law; Durham University
July 22, 2011
13:5 German Law Journal 468 (2012)
Mississippi College School of Law Research Paper No. 2013-07
My purpose here is to reconsider the tactical-functional and strategic-ideological character of rupture in the theoretical toolbox of international lawyers, and specifically to situate it within the emergence of what falls under the rubric of political theology. Analyzing the various approaches to rupture in international legal conversation, my thesis is that the terrain of argument is actually far narrower than often imagined, and that the juxtapositions between ‘progressive’ and ‘conservative’ voices may be collapsed within a shared imaginative logic. In fact, what looks progressive, for this very reason, may actually be the most insidious form of conservativism, a closeted restoration anxiety, while what sometimes appears as a dangerous political fanaticism, usually associated with conservative voices, may actually suggest the very conditions of a meaningful emancipatory program for international law. In contrast to the current spectrum of argument, the paper analyzes a variety of ways that 'rupture' is defined and deployed within various legal orientations, and then concludes by drawing upon the ‘New Philosophy’ school to, albeit very tentatively, advance a short proposal for an alternative vision of how rupture might be deployed, what I will call a politics of truth, in law.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: Global Governance, Law and Religion, Legal Theory, Political Economy, Political TheologyAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 23, 2011 ; Last revised: September 28, 2013
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