Post-Modern Perspectives on Orthodox Positivism

International Legal Positivism In A Post-Modern World, (Jean d’Aspremont & Jörg Kammerhofer eds, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 2014), Forthcoming

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2013-58

Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2013-22

Postnational Rulemaking Working Paper No. 2013-08

20 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2013

See all articles by Ingo Venzke

Ingo Venzke

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law

Date Written: October 18, 2013

Abstract

This contribution explains the travails of international legal positivism (ILP) from post-modern perspectives. It identifies conventional precepts of orthodox ILP and shows how variants of post-modern thinking unravel them. The focus rests on three main such precepts and their critique: first, orthodox ILP works against the backdrop of a given language that stands stable and unsoiled from the operation of the law. Second, it embraces a political philosophy that gives the legal subject – traditionally the sovereign state – a foundational role. Third, orthodox ILP sees but a small space for politics in international law that is confined to law’s creation through legal sources. These three basic precepts relate to linguistics (the location and generation of meaning), to subjectivity (the place of state consent), and to politics (here understood as the struggle for power and its exercise). Three key concepts of post-modern thinking are introduced in order to question each of these precepts: the vivacious concept of performativity embodies lessons of the linguistic turn. Deconstruction suggests unveiling conflicting diversity underneath harmony and unity of any subject. Governmentality, finally, exposes the many faces of power. In sum, law and politics are much more entangled than ILP would traditionally have it.

Keywords: Legal positivism, subjectivity, politics, performativity, deconstruction, governmentality, post-modernism, sources of law, interpretation

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Venzke, Ingo, Post-Modern Perspectives on Orthodox Positivism (October 18, 2013). International Legal Positivism In A Post-Modern World, (Jean d’Aspremont & Jörg Kammerhofer eds, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 2014), Forthcoming; Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2013-58; Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2013-22; Postnational Rulemaking Working Paper No. 2013-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2342169 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2342169

Ingo Venzke (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law ( email )

REC A - Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Amsterdam, 1018WV
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.uva.nl/profiel/v/e/i.venzke/i.venzke.html

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
153
Abstract Views
873
rank
192,457
PlumX Metrics