Keep Calm and Carry On: Martti Koskenniemi and the Fragmentation of International Law
ILF Research Paper No. 10-13
14 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2013 Last revised: 14 Apr 2015
Date Written: May 1, 2013
As fragmentation in international law and institutions increases unabated, the associated theoretical debate has virtually gone silent. Koskenniemi’s contributions to the fragmentation debate, primarily the 2006 ILC study group report and several academic articles, played a central role in this ‘normalization of fragmentation’. They demonstrated that fragmentation is politically inevitable and legally manageable, through formal rules of interpretation. Adopting an analogy between states and functional regimes, Koskenniemi views fragmentation through the same lenses he applies to international law more generally, acknowledging and identifying its political undercurrents while advocating an applied ethics of formalism. While generally one might “keep calm and carry on” in the face of fragmentation, Koskenniemi flags one concern nevertheless: the propensity of fragmentation to promote anti-formalist managerialism in international affairs.
Keywords: international law, fragmentation, critical legal studies, International Law Commission, international politics
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