Max Huber's Sociological Approach to International Law Revisited

Posted: 16 Jun 2008  

Jost Delbrück

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: February 2007

Abstract

Almost a century ago Max Huber published his basic text on a sociology of international law. In a time like ours in which serious challenges to the notion of an international law binding upon all states are not uncommon, it appears to be appropriate to recall Huber's outstanding contribution to this recurrent debate over the nature and role of international law in international relations. To understand his conception of a sociology of international law, this article traces the impact of Huber's socio-political and intellectual environment on his work. Central to Huber's conceptualization of a sociology of international law is his perception of the nature of the state and the key problem of the binding force of international law, which he ultimately found to rest on the collective interest of the states in its binding force. In his early years, Huber adhered to the notion that international law is plain Machtrecht , but later on he turned away from this position without retreating from his sociological approach to international law altogether.

Suggested Citation

Delbrück, Jost, Max Huber's Sociological Approach to International Law Revisited (February 2007). European Journal of International Law, Vol. 18, Issue 1, pp. 97-113, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1145446 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejil/chm003

Jost Delbrück (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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