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Is International Law International?$
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Anthea Roberts

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190696412

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190696412.001.0001

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The Divisible College of International Lawyers

The Divisible College of International Lawyers

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 The Divisible College of International Lawyers
Source:
Is International Law International?
Author(s):

Anthea Roberts

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190696412.003.0001

This chapter explores three concepts—difference, dominance, and disruption—that play a central role in comparative international law. In examining the extent to which international law is international in the academies and textbooks of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the author makes three arguments. First, international law academics are often subject to differences in their incoming influences and outgoing spheres of influence in ways that reflect and reinforce differences in how they understand and approach international law. Second, actors, materials, and approaches from some states and regions have come to dominate certain transnational flows and forums in ways that make them disproportionately influential in constructing the “international.” Third, existing understandings of the field are likely to be disrupted by factors such as changing geopolitical power that will make it increasingly important for international lawyers to understand the perspectives and approaches of those coming from unlike-minded states.

Keywords:   difference, dominance, disruption, actors, materials, understandings, approaches, geopolitics, Western, non-Western

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