The same as it never was? Uncertainty and the changing contours of international law

Oliver Kessler*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    International law has changed significantly since the end of the Cold War. As long as the international was thought to be populated by sovereign states predominantly, international law was conceived of as a means for peaceful dispute settlement. That is: the reference to state sovereignty not only divided public from private international law, but structured most of public international law itself; from the very definition of and associated rights and duties to the attribution of responsibility. With the emergence of the post-national constellation, a reduction of law to questions of states' practices is increasingly problematic. At the same time, the post-national constellation denotes more than just a structural shift in the world polity. It challenges established dogmas rooted in an individualistic philosophy of science and thereby calls for a different understanding of how the world is (made) known. What uncertainty has to offer is the provision of a different vocabulary detached from the state through which we can reconsider some changes in international law.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2163-2182
    Number of pages20
    JournalReview of International Studies
    Volume37
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec-2011

    Keywords

    • SECURITY DILEMMA
    • INDEPENDENCE AXIOM
    • RISK
    • SOCIETY
    • TERRORISM
    • POLITICS
    • UTILITY
    • DESIGN

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