Between Resistance and Reform: TWAIL and the Universality of International Law

Trade, Law and Development. Vol. 3, No. 1. pp. 103-130

30 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2011 Last revised: 10 Oct 2011

See all articles by Luis Eslava

Luis Eslava

University of Kent - Kent Law School

Sundhya Pahuja

Melbourne Law School

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

In this article we explore the relationship between TWAIL scholarship and the universality of international law. In particular, we offer an account of this relation as the outcome of what we describe as TWAIL’s characteristic double engagement with the attitudes of both reform and revolution vis-à-vis international law and scholarship. In being thoroughly critical of the cornerstones of the established order, and yet engaged with the practice and operation of international law at the same time, TWAIL scholars have intimated in their search for justice, an idea of universality capable of accepting international law as an agonic project. To further its political engagement with the universal promise of international law, we suggest an explicit methodological turn for TWAIL scholarship that is attentive to international law as a material project. By paying attention to the daily operation of international law at the mundane, quotidian and material plane, we suggest that TWAIL can sharpen its analytical potential and generate at the same time, a ‘praxis of universality’. Such a praxis would be capable of troubling the constitution of places and subjects in the name of the international, whilst heightening our sensitivity to the numerous forms of resistance that are already at play as a particular normative project is being institutionalised and administered across the world.

Keywords: TWAIL, International Law, Universality, Materiality, Resistance, Reform, Method

Suggested Citation

Eslava, Luis and Pahuja, Sundhya, Between Resistance and Reform: TWAIL and the Universality of International Law (2011). Trade, Law and Development. Vol. 3, No. 1. pp. 103-130. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1876682

Luis Eslava (Contact Author)

University of Kent - Kent Law School ( email )

Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.kent.ac.uk/law/people/academic/Eslava,_Luis.html

Sundhya Pahuja

Melbourne Law School ( email )

University of Melbourne
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 7102 (Phone)

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