Appraisal of Diversity in International Law: A Note on Self-Serving Biases and Interdisciplinarity
Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2021-06
18 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2021
Date Written: June 21, 2021
This Chapter speaks of the self-serving biases in comparatism and the turn to empiricism in international law. The biases are not only about cases of mere Western myopia as many believe. Despite sincere attempts to overcome Eurocentrism by identifying the state of diversity of the world, scholars continue to reproduce what they are determined to overcome by introducing empirical and comparative approaches. As long as the discipline's very standards that distinguish what are relevant, credible and intelligible for international law remain unquestioned, it is a daunting challenge to overcome international lawyers' self-serving biases in observing and comparing. This chapter calls for recognising and improving the conceptual framework that researchers use to collect, analyse and evaluate the empirical findings. In so doing, this chapter, by focusing on the diverse system of meanings for the terms and concepts of international law, notes a few basic necessities for design of research that will explore diverse responses to international law by unearthing different conditions and assumptions.
Keywords: international law, interdisciplinary approach, social science, comparative law, eurocentrism, history of international law, legal transplants, multi-perspectivism, methodology of law, philosophy of law
JEL Classification: K3, K30, K33
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