Sociological Objectivism: Still Relevant?

forthcoming in R Deplano, N Tsagourias (eds), Research Methods in International Law: A Handbook, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2020

23 Pages Posted:

See all articles by Vassilis P Tzevelekos

Vassilis P Tzevelekos

University of Liverpool - School of Law & Social Justice

Antal Berkes

Brunel University London

Date Written: June 30, 2020

Abstract

The sociological objectivism school of thought situates itself within legal positivism but squarely rejects the key principles and assumptions of the voluntarist conceptualization of international law. Sociological objectivism denies state sovereignty and considers law as stemming, not from sovereign will, but from social necessity. For objectivists, positive law cannot produce normative effects unless it is aligned with an ideal, namely objective law. This raises questions regarding the interrelationship between objective law and natural law. Although the reality of contemporary international law disproves the extreme and ‘full-bodied’ version of sociological objectivism, certain precepts of this theory remain fairly germane. The chapter situates sociological objectivism within the broader design of legal positivism, discusses the key tenets of objectivism and explores how, outside of a ‘philosophy’ of international law, this theory can be translated into (a set of) method(s).

Keywords: Sociological objectivism, legal positivism, voluntarism, social necessity, social solidarity, ‘role splitting’, Georges Scelle

Suggested Citation

Tzevelekos, Vassilis and Berkes, Antal, Sociological Objectivism: Still Relevant? (June 30, 2020). forthcoming in R Deplano, N Tsagourias (eds), Research Methods in International Law: A Handbook, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2020. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Vassilis Tzevelekos (Contact Author)

University of Liverpool - School of Law & Social Justice ( email )

Brownlow Hill
Liverpool, L69 3BX
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/law/staff/vassilis-tzevelekos/

Antal Berkes

Brunel University London ( email )

Kingston Lane
Elliott Jaques Building
Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH
United kingdom

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