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Collaboration, Cosmopolitanism and Complicity

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In this article, the authors use their experience of a collaboration as a vehicle for thinking critically about the uneasy relationship between the practices and products of internationally oriented legal scholars situated in the North. They use tools drawn from feminist theory to tease out in particular, some of the perils in the turn to cosmopolitanism as a response to globalization, and explore the way in which this mirrors a cosmopolitan urge both embedded in international legal discourse and at play in the self-constitution of the international lawyer (including themselves). They then draw on feminist and other critical theories to ask whether a conceptual reconfiguration of a `critical cosmopolitanism' can offer a useful alternative to the old view. They remain wary about whether any reconfigurations with a `global' scale can overcome the problems which inhere in purportedly transformative western scholarship generally, and so conclude somewhat circumspectly, emphasizing the need to frame their approach reflexively and to focus on changes they could make to their everyday practices of teaching and research to reduce the risk of complicity with the unacknowledged parochialism of cosmopolitanism.

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor, Law School, University of British Columbia, Canada; 2: Senior Lecturer, Law School, University of Melbourne, Australia, Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria


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