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International Law as Social ConstructThe Struggle for Global Justice$
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Carlo Focarelli

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199584833

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584833.001.0001

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De‐ and Remythologizing International Law

De‐ and Remythologizing International Law

(p.89) 4 De‐ and Remythologizing International Law
International Law as Social Construct

Carlo Focarelli

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores how international law is socially constructed through epistemology, doctrine, and communication. It argues that legal doctrine constantly mythologizes, demythologizes, and remythologizes international law in various, often opposing directions, through Western categories and within a relatively closed circle of professionals. It presents nine theoretical models of international law from this perspective, namely, naturalism, positivism, realism, axiologism, deconstructionism, sociologism, constitutionalism, administrativism, and third-worldism. The chapter also contends that the construction of international law by the media, today crucial, is far from being widespread and effective as expected and needed. It suggests that international law should be remythologized by investigating the legal traditions known in comparative legal analysis, rather than by continuing to analyse it according to Western jurisprudential categories.

Keywords:   epistemology, communication, naturalism, positivism, realism, axiologism, deconstructionism, sociologism, constitutionalism, western jurisprudence

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