Non-Analytical Obstacles to Stateless Law

(43) North Carolina Journal of International Law (2017)

21 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2017 Last revised: 11 Oct 2017

Date Written: October 10, 2017


This article reviews legal scholars’ key prudential and moral reasons to oppose the view that law can exist without the state. After a discussion of the real-world impact of views on what counts as law, the article discusses the following grounds for resistance to stateless law: law as something necessarily produced by states scores quite high on criteria to determine how good a theory is; paradigms intrinsically resist change; certain forgotten prudential political rules are wrongly remembered as analytical precepts; there is sheer political resistance to the emancipation of powers outside the state; attempts are made by those who shape our understanding of law to please their constituencies; the pursuit by academics of a legal practice interferes with rigorous legal thinking; there are important vested interests in the current state-centred system; and a sense of anti-intellectualism dominates certain areas of the legal academy.

Keywords: law without the state, paradigms, pursuits in the definition of law

JEL Classification: k33

Suggested Citation

Schultz, Thomas, Non-Analytical Obstacles to Stateless Law (October 10, 2017). (43) North Carolina Journal of International Law (2017), Available at SSRN:

Thomas Schultz (Contact Author)

King's College London ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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