Two fish are swimming in a pond. ‘Do you know what?’ the fish asks his friend. ‘No, tell me.’ ‘I was talking to a frog the other day. And he told me that we are surrounded by water!’ His friend looks at him with great scepticism: ‘Water? What’s that? Show me some water!’
International lawyers often find themselves focused on the practice of the law rather than the underlying theories. This ebook “International Law Theories: An Inquiry into Different Ways of Thinking (1st Edition)” is an attempt to stir up ‘the water’ that international lawyers swim in. It analyses a range of theoretical approaches to international law and invites readers to engage with different ways of legal thinking in order to familiarize themselves with the water all around us, of which we hardly have any perception.
The main aim of this ebook is to provide interested scholars, practitioners, and students of international law and other disciplines with an introduction to various international legal theories, their genealogies, and possible critiques. By providing an analytical approach to international legal theory, the book encourages readers to enhance their sensitivity to these different approaches and to consider how the presuppositions behind each theory affect analysis, research, and practice in international law. International Law Theories is intended to assist scholars, law students, and practitioners in reflecting more generally about how knowledge is formed in the field.
“The book successfully makes international law theories – or better, ‘different ways of thinking about international law’ – accessible and relatable … If, as Bianchi states, the mission is to ‘stir up the water that we, as international lawyers, swim in’ and encourage more lawyers to interrogate their perceptions of what ‘water’ even is, then this book might be read as a seductive enticement to get our feet soaking wet.” — Hemy Mistry, The Modern Law Review
“[A] profound exposition of the intellectual underpinnings of an entire discipline from a scholar whose familiartity with the material is unparalleled. … International Law Theories is an essential reference point for anyone interested in serious international legal scholarship. It is also a remarkably enjoyable read. In no other single volume is such a breadth of critical material on this vast subject orchestrated with this level of clarity and perception – a truly indispensable resource.” — David Collins, Melbourn Journal of International Law