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Multidisciplinary Reflections on the Relationship between Professionals and The(ir) International Law

18 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2013  

Ingo Venzke

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law

Date Written: December 4, 2013

Abstract

The present contribution approaches the theme of international law as a profession by focusing on the relationship between professionals and the(ir) law. It argues that understanding international law as a practice can plausibly articulate how it is both true that professionals make their law and that the law makes its professionals. It places its argument between the twin dangers of intentionalism, which reduces the language of international law to the will of its speakers and, of objectivism, which reifies international law or reduces it to an undistorted mirror image of structural forces. On the one hand, the contribution draws attention to the professionals as agents and speakers. It emphasises the variety of their roles, explores their respective engagement with international law, and it flashes out the drawbacks of intentionalism. On the other hand, it highlights the study of social conditions that influence professionals, and of biographies as a medium to approach these forces. It shows the drawbacks of objectivism. Setting out a road between these two sides with a refined understanding of international practice, then, also helps to better locate the autonomy of international law. The contribution closes with an outlook on the appeal of formalism and a note on the anxieties about inter-disciplinarity.

Keywords: International Lawmaking, Pierre Bourdieu, Intentionalism, Objectivism, Formalism, Sociology, Linguistics

Suggested Citation

Venzke, Ingo, Multidisciplinary Reflections on the Relationship between Professionals and The(ir) International Law (December 4, 2013). ESIL 2013 5th Research Forum: International Law as a Profession Conference Paper No. 4/2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2363630 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2363630

Ingo Venzke (Contact Author)

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

P.O. Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

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

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