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The Necessity of International Law against the A-normativity of Neo-Conservative Thought

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the social, political and conceptual relevance of international law from a negative point of view, i.e. moving from the negation (or limitation) of its normativity as claimed by the neo-conservatives. This analysis commences with a presentation of some influential critiques of international law asserted by authors situated in that school. The chapter then discusses the main characteristics of this, so-called, "archaic" paradigm of order as well as the variants it has developed over the centuries: realism, nationalism, and hegemonism. Although neo-conservatism contains the core features of the paradigm, which it has in common with each of the versions of holistic particularism, its direct descent comes from the most recent of them, namely from hegemonism. The consequence has been not only a loss of efficiency, but also a shift in the political meaning of international law.

Keywords: hegemonism; holistic particularism; international law; nationalism; neo-conservatism; realism



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