Towards a Sociology of International Courts
Oxford Handbook of International Adjudication, Karen Alter et al., eds., Oxford University Press, 2013/14
iCourts Online Working Paper, No. 1, 2013
29 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2013 Last revised: 20 Nov 2015
Date Written: October 10, 2013
This paper first outlines how classical sociological theories have contributed to the understanding of international courts (ICs) and society. It then explores the original law and society stance on legal institutions, and outlines a recent scholarship, which draws on law and society and contemporary sociology for explaining ICs and their link to global society. The final part of the article identifies a set of key questions with respect to understanding ICs using both classical and contemporary sociology. It considers the question of institutions from a sociological perspective; the place of agency in studies of ICs; and the notion of legitimacy as it is found in both classical and contemporary sociology and its implications for studying ICs.
Keywords: international courts, sociology and globalization, sociological theories
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