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date: 12 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article emphasizes the task of framing some of the central issues of the philosophy of international law. It addresses the normative dimension of international law—the moral theory of international legal doctrine and institutions—not what Hart would call the analytic dimension, and not the epistemology of international law. It develops a concept of the relationship between normative theorizing about international law and the realities of the current state-centred international system. It articulates most of the issues a normative theory of international law must address, indicating the key choices, which a theorist faces, and thereby suggests an agenda for further research. It also discusses human rights, humanitarian intervention, and the conditions for the legitimacy of governments which will have direct and fairly obvious implications.

Keywords: normative dimension, international law, normative theorizing, human rights, humanitarian intervention

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