Must International Legal Pedagogy Remain Eurocentric?
Forthcoming in the Asian Journal of International Law
28 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2019 Last revised: 4 May 2021
Date Written: November 25, 2020
Mainstream international law is Eurocentric. Throughout the past half millennia, no territory beyond Europe was safe from jus gentium’s striking capability to legitimise the intrusion of European civilisational precepts. Beginning with the Americas but quickly shifting to Africa and Asia, each continent was a battleground for the penetration of a provincial knowledge system. In this article, I explore the implications of Eurocentrism for international legal pedagogy. While textbook authors now pay homage to other civilisations, their effusions are ornamental only. Instead of supporting epistemological equivalency, they centre European international law throughout their works, exorcising the brutalities of European history that generated the law in question. After setting out the dilemma, I outline three approaches toward transforming international legal pedagogy that capitalise on the decolonisation movement. Each method builds on the premise that, without epistemic diversity, legal pedagogy will continue to rationalise European international law’s predatory impulse.
Keywords: TWAIL, legal pedagogy, international law
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation