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Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: K1, K
In this article we explore the relationship between TWAIL scholarship and the universality of international law. In particular, we offer an account of this relation as the outcome of what we describe as TWAIL’s characteristic double engagement with the attitudes of both reform and revolution vis-à-vis international law and scholarship. In being thoroughly critical of the cornerstones of the established order, and yet engaged with the practice and operation of international law at the same time, TWAIL scholars have intimated in their search for justice, an idea of universality capable of accepting international law as an agonic project. To further its political engagement with the universal promise of international law, we suggest an explicit methodological turn for TWAIL scholarship that is attentive to international law as a material project. By paying attention to the daily operation of international law at the mundane, quotidian and material plane, we suggest that TWAIL can sharpen its analytical potential and generate at the same time, a ‘praxis of universality’. Such a praxis would be capable of troubling the constitution of places and subjects in the name of the international, whilst heightening our sensitivity to the numerous forms of resistance that are already at play as a particular normative project is being institutionalised and administered across the world.
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    • 1 Upendra Baxi, What May the 'Third World' Expect from International Law?, (hereinafter Baxi) in INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE THIRD WORLD: RESHAPING JUSTICE 10 (Richard Falk, Balakrishnan Rajagopal & Jacqueline Stevens eds., Routledge-Cavendish 2008) (hereinafter Falk, Rajagopal & Stevens eds.).
    • 2 See especially on the 'others of international law': INTERNATIONAL LAW AND ITS OTHERS (Anne Orford ed., Cambridge Univ. Press 2009).
    • 15 See especially, China Miéville, The Commodity-Form Theory of International Law: An Introduction, 17(2) LEIDEN J. INT'L L. 271 (2004) (hereinafter Miéville); CHINA MIÉVILLE, BETWEEN EQUAL RIGHTS: A MARXIST THEORY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW (Brill 2005); China Miéville, The Commodity-Form Theory of International Law, in Marks ed., supra note 13.
    • 16 Miéville, Id. at 302.
    • 17 ANGHIE, supra note 7, at 318.
    • 18 See for example, Karin Mickelson, Co-opting Common Heritage: Reflections on the Need for South-North Scholarship, in HUMANIZING OUR GLOBAL ORDER: ESSAYS IN HONOUR OF IVAN HEAD 112 (Obiora Chinedu Okafor & Obijiofor Aginam eds., Univ. of Toronto Press 2003); Ibironke T. Odumosu, Locating Third World Resistance in the International Law on Foreign Investment, 9 INT'L COMMUNITY L. REV. 427 (2007); B. S. Chimni, Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources: Toward a Radical Interpretation, 38 INDIAN J. INT'L L. 208
    • 26 Id. at 3-5, 188-9, 267 & 310-11.
    • 27 For some foundational texts of the 'subaltern studies' collective, see A SUBALTERN STUDIES READER: 1986-1995 (Ranajit Guha ed., Univ. of Minnesota Press 1997); and SELECTED SUBALTERN STUDIES (Ranajit Guha & Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak eds., Oxford Univ. Press 1988).
    • 28 See especially, MAPPING SUBALTERN STUDIES AND THE POSTCOLONIAL (Vinayak Chaturvedi ed., Verso/New Left Review 2000).
    • 29 See also Okafor, supra note 3; Mickelson, supra note 3.
    • 38 PAHUJA, supra note 6.
    • 39 See generally, Nehal Bhuta, Democratization, State-building and Politics as Technology, in GREAT EXPECTATIONS: THE ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW IN RESTRUCTURING SOCIETIES AFTER CONFLICT (Hilary Charlesworth, Brett Bowden & Jeremy Farrall eds., Cambridge Univ. Press 2008); Kennedy, supra note 14.
    • 40 See generally, PETER FITZPATRICK, MODERNISM AND THE GROUNDS OF LAW (Cambridge Univ. Press 2001).
    • 41 Anne Orford, Beyond Harmonization: Trade, Human Rights and the Economy of Sacrifice, 18 LEIDEN J. INT'L L. 179 (2005).
    • 46 KARL MARX: SELECTED WRITINGS 389 (David McLellan ed., Oxford Univ. Press 1977).
    • 47 The placing of international law as detached from national and local normative and institutional orders is prevalent in discussions about the sources of international law and the extent of the relation between international law and municipal law. See for example, MALCOM M. SHAW, INTERNATIONAL LAW (Cambridge Univ. Press, 6th ed. 2008).
    • 48 See for instance on an argument against such approaches to international law: Gerhard Andres, The New Global Legal Order as Local Phenomenon: The Special Court for Sierra Leone, in SPATIALIZING LAW: AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL GEOGRAPHY OF LAW IN SOCIETY (Franz von Benda-Beckmann, Keebet von Benda-Beckmann & Anne Griffiths eds., Ashgate 2009).
    • 49 “But the Alternative Is Despair”: European Nationalism and the Modernist Renewal of International Law, 106 HARV. L. REV. 1793, 1806 (1993); Nathaniel Berman, Modernism, Nationalism and the Rhetoric or Reconstruction, 4 YALE J.L. & HUMAN. 351 (1992).
    • 50 HANS KELSEN, PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 177 (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Inc., 2d ed. 1966).
    • 51 Id. at 184-186.
    • 52 Id. at 178.
    • 53 See, however, on the sociological foundations of Kelsen's understanding of law: Mónica García-Salmones, On Kelsen's Sein: An Approach to Kelsenian Sociological Themes, 8 NO FOUND. 41 (2011). See, on a recent presentation of international law as strictly legal and state-centric: Jean D'Aspremont, The Doctrinal Illusion of the Heterogenity of International LawMaking Process, in Ruiz Fabri, Wolfrum & Gogolin eds., supra note 11.
    • 54 See especially, the interpretation given in Latin America to Kelsen's theory of law, including international law: DIEGO LÓPEZ MEDINA, TEORÍA IMPURA DEL DERECHO: LA TRANSFORMACIÓN DE LA CULTURA JURÍDICA LATINO AMERICANA 341-398 (Legis 2004).
    • 55 See especially, Martti Koskenniemi, What is International Law for?, in INTERNATIONAL LAW (Malcolm Evans ed., Oxford Univ. Press 2003); Martti Koskenniemi, The Politics of International Law - 20 Years After, 20(1) EUR. J. INT'L L. 7 (2009).
    • 66 See especially, GIORGIO AGAMBEN, WHAT IS AN APPARATUS? AND OTHER ESSAYS (Stanford Univ. Press 2009).
    • 67 See especially, J. K. GIBSON-GRAHAM, A POST-CAPITALIST POLITICS (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2006).
    • 68 See for instance, ARTURO ESCOBAR, TERRITORIES OF DIFFERENCE: PLACE, MOVEMENTS, LIFE, REDES (Duke Univ. Press 2008); JULIETA LEMEITRE RIPOLL, EL DERECHO COMO CONJURO: FETICHISMO LEGAL, VIOLENCIA Y MOVIMIENTOS SOCIALES (Siglo del Hombre Editores & Universidad de Los Andes 2009); Julieta Lemeitre Ripoll, Legal Fetishism: Law, Violence and Social Movements in Colombia, 77 REV. JUR. U.P.R. 331 (2008); SHANNON SPEED, RIGHTS IN REBELLION: INDIGENOUS STRUGGLE AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN CHIAPAS (Stanford Univ. Press, 2007).
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