International Law in Europe: Between Tradition and Renewal
Author: Koskenniemi, Martti
Source: European Journal of International Law, Volume 16, Number 1, February 2005 , pp. 113-124(12)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:International law is a European tradition. Nevertheless, like many other European traditions, it imagines itself as universal. Throughout its history, it has been associated with projects such as Christianity, secular statehood, enlightenment, civilization, free trade and human rights. International laws association with particular ideas or preferences does not, however, even slightly undermine it. There are no authentic universals that one could know independently of their particular manifestations. The key question is a political one: Are there good reasons for extending the scope of such ideas or preferences? Answering this question may not have been assisted by the turning of some of them into kitsch. But is that the condition of their universality?
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2005-02-01
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