Methodological Individualism

48 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2018 Last revised: 1 Sep 2019

See all articles by Tamar Megiddo

Tamar Megiddo

College of Law and Business; Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law; Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions, University of Haifa

Date Written: August 9, 2018


International law, we are taught, is the law made by states to govern their relations. Unsurprisingly, international law scholarship has traditionally embraced a corresponding methodological statism. Despite common perceptions, statism remains dominant: at most, elite non-state actors are studied alongside states. This article advocates a turn to ‘constructivist methodological individualism’: a commitment to studying the making, interpretation, implementation, development and breaking of international law by ordinary, individual people, together with the reciprocal engagement of international law with them.

Keywords: international legal theory, constructivism, methodological individualism, non-state actors, international relations theory, statism, international law methodology

Suggested Citation

Megiddo, Tamar, Methodological Individualism (August 9, 2018). 60 Harvard International Law Journal 601 (2019), Available at SSRN:

Tamar Megiddo (Contact Author)

College of Law and Business ( email )

26 Ben-Gurion St.

Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv, 69978
544456140 (Phone)

Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions, University of Haifa ( email )

Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics