Towards Utopia – Rethinking International Law (Introduction)

German Yearbook of International Law 60 (2017), Forthcoming

17 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2018

See all articles by Jens Theilen

Jens Theilen

Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg

Isabelle Hassfurther

University of Kiel - Walter Schücking Institut

Wiebke Staff

University of Kiel - Walter Schücking Institut

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

In the face of recent challenges to international law and its institutions, a sense of despair and resignation pervades some parts of international legal scholarship – a mindset which may work to close off the ability to think, feel, and imagine alternatives. As a counterpoint to such despair, this paper explores the potential of utopianism as a framework for rethinking international law which provides grounds for hope. Building on the articles contained in the Special Section "Towards Utopia – Rethinking International Law" which it introduces, the paper discusses three topoi of utopianism in relation to international law: first, the diversity of utopian approaches, ranging from grand blueprints to everyday utopias; second, the relation of utopianism to critique, and specifically to critical approaches to international law; and third, the complicated role of international law in relation to social change.

Keywords: utopianism, international law, grand blueprints, everyday utopias, eutopia, despair, hope, denaturalisation, critical international legal theory

Suggested Citation

Theilen, Jens and Hassfurther, Isabelle and Staff, Wiebke, Towards Utopia – Rethinking International Law (Introduction) (2017). German Yearbook of International Law 60 (2017), Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3248292

Jens Theilen (Contact Author)

Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg ( email )

Hostenhofweg 85
Hamburg, 22043
Germany

Isabelle Hassfurther

University of Kiel - Walter Schücking Institut ( email )

Olshausenstrasse 40
Kiel, DE 24098
Germany

Wiebke Staff

University of Kiel - Walter Schücking Institut ( email )

Olshausenstrasse 40
Kiel, DE 24098
Germany

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