Introduction: Situating Contingency in the Path of International Law

forthcoming in: I Venzke & KJ Heller (eds), Situating Contingency in International Law: On the Possibility of a Different Law (OUP 2020)

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2020-49

Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2020-23

26 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2020 Last revised: 16 Sep 2020

See all articles by Ingo Venzke

Ingo Venzke

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law

Date Written: August 21, 2020

Abstract

This introduction situates thinking about contingency on the field of what possible, bounded by necessity, on one side, and chance on the other. It shows what makes the search for contingency in the path of international law so politically charged and so valuable—its link with human freedom. Expanding on the agenda behind the present volume, the chapter discusses how searching for contingency might facilitate change in the present for a different future. In contrast to other projects, asking about past possibilities offers an account for why something that may seem desirable has not materialised. Such an account must guide those on pathways of transformation in their sobering search for change. What would actually have made a difference in the path of international law, and what still can? Overall, the chapter highlights three sites of contingency: in the law’s contextualisation; the reading of its context; and the rendering of its history.

Keywords: History of International Law, Contingency, Hindsight, Contextualisation, Narration, Transformative Change, Robert Musil

JEL Classification: K4, K33

Suggested Citation

Venzke, Ingo, Introduction: Situating Contingency in the Path of International Law (August 21, 2020). forthcoming in: I Venzke & KJ Heller (eds), Situating Contingency in International Law: On the Possibility of a Different Law (OUP 2020), Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2020-49, Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2020-23, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3678564

Ingo Venzke (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law ( email )

REC A - Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Amsterdam, 1018WV
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.uva.nl/profiel/v/e/i.venzke/i.venzke.html

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