The New International Law Scholarship
27 Pages Posted: 15 May 2006
This essay replies to criticisms advanced at a conference on our book, The Limits of International Law. We engage the critics on several methodological issues, we attempt to correct misimpressions about some of our arguments, and we reiterate our distinctive empirical claims. We also argue that our critics have more in common with us, and less in common with traditional international law scholars, than they are willing to admit. This observation leads us to claim that a new kind of international law scholarship is emerging, one that relies more heavily on social scientific attitudes and methodologies than the international law scholarship that it is gradually displacing. This trend fills us with optimism about the field, but at the same time we predict, with some misgiving, that much future scholarship will be preoccupied with reconciling the traditional liberal internationalism of the international law academy and the new imperative to use rigorous social scientific methods.
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