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Anarchy and International Law: The Approaches of Hedley Bull and Noam Chomsky

Review of Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. 14, 2014, pp. 17-47

23 Pages Posted: 18 May 2013 Last revised: 12 May 2016

Jean Allain

Monash University - Faculty of Law; Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation

Date Written: May 17, 2013

Abstract

While scholars of international law have shied away from labeling it as such, the international legal order, lacking as it does central law creating, determining, and enforcement mechanisms, and being based on cooperation as opposed to coercion, is quintessentially anarchistic. This Paper contemplates international law in two manners in which an anarchist might consider interesting: first, as a legal system which governs an anarchical society as described by Bull in line with the English School of International Relations which sees in international law an institution of international order; and second, as a manifestation of a State system which, though illegitimate can be utilized, as Noam Chomsky does, for tactical reasons to demonstrate its inconsistencies and thus weakening the system with the ultimate aim being its implosion.

Keywords: international law, anarchism, Chomsky, Hedley Bull

Suggested Citation

Allain, Jean, Anarchy and International Law: The Approaches of Hedley Bull and Noam Chomsky (May 17, 2013). Review of Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. 14, 2014, pp. 17-47. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2266486 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2266486

Jean Allain (Contact Author)

Monash University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800
Australia

Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation ( email )

University of Hull
Oriel Chambers, 27 High Street
Hull, Great Britain HU1 1NE
United Kingdom

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