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'The Force of Law': Critical Legal Studies and Deconstruction

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Chapter Summary

Utilizing Unger's taxonomy, International Law is classified as 'the legal system that engendered colonialism,' expressed both through Formalism and Objectivism. This colonialist sub-text is not merely a pragmatic device of European imperialism, but a necessary attribute of contemporary International Law: an attempt to positively ground the foundational concept of sovereignty upon a hierarchy of 'objective' social criteria (Civilization; Development; Democracy) in order to thwart the Austinian critique of the allegedly un-scientific premises of international jurisprudence, 'law improperly so-called'. This chapter argues that the most appropriate methodology to give expressive shape to the critical legal interpretation of International Law and the Grotian Heritage offered so far is Post-Structuralism.

Keywords: Austinian critique; concept of sovereignty; European imperialism; Grotian Heritage; international law; post-colonialism; post-structuralism

10.1163/ej.9789004167889.i-534.12
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