How Cosmopolitan Are International Law Professors?

18 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2016 Last revised: 18 May 2017

See all articles by Ryan Scoville

Ryan Scoville

Marquette University - Law School

Milan Markovic

Texas A&M University School of Law

Date Written: April 21, 2016


This Article offers an empirical answer to a question of interest among scholars of comparative international law: why do American views about international law appear at times to differ from those of other countries? We contend that part of the answer lies in legal education. Conducting a survey of the educational and professional backgrounds of nearly 150 legal academics, we reveal evidence that professors of international law in the United States often lack significant foreign legal experience, particularly outside of the West. Sociological research suggests that this tendency leads professors to teach international law from predominantly national and Western perspectives, and thus socialize generations of future government elites, activists, legal experts, and private practitioners to internalize views about “international law” that are not always truly international. After discussing and analyzing the new evidence, the Article identifies arguments for and against the current pattern.

Keywords: Comparative International Law, Legal Education, Professional Socialization

Suggested Citation

Scoville, Ryan M. and Markovic, Milan, How Cosmopolitan Are International Law Professors? (April 21, 2016). Michigan Journal of International Law, Vol. 38, No. 1, 2016, Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 16-09, Texas A&M University School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 16-38, Available at SSRN:

Ryan M. Scoville (Contact Author)

Marquette University - Law School ( email )

Eckstein Hall
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201
United States
720-993-0197 (Phone)

Milan Markovic

Texas A&M University School of Law ( email )

1515 Commerce Street
Fort Worth, TX Tarrant County 76102
United States
817-212-4056 (Phone)

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