International Legal Methods: Working for a Tragic and Cynical Routine
Forthcoming in Rossana Deplano & Nicholas Tsagourias Eds., Handbook on Research Methods in International Law (Elgar, 2020)
18 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2019
Date Written: November 22, 2019
This essay argues that international legal discourses function as a deeply entrenched routine composed of a great variety of professional habits. This essay grapples with one of these shared habits constitutive of the routine of international lawyers, namely what international lawyers refer to as ‘methods’. Methods, it is argued here, are among the most central of all the habits constitutive of the routine of international lawyers, in that methods help the routine to conceal what it does. More specifically, this essay claims that the methods deployed by international lawyers enshroud international legal discourses with both novelty and vulnerability, thereby camouflaging the tragedy and cynicism of the routine of international lawyers.
Keywords: International law, international legal method, methodology, legal theory, routine, critical theory, literary theory, hermeneutics
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