Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter criticizes the aversion to metaphysics, which essentially governs the whole history of the sources of international law. Ludwig Wittgenstein’s logical positivism and anti-metaphysics had paved the way to legal positivism, which took a new pathological turn with Hans Kelsen’s and Carl Schmitt’s fixation on ideological purity. Moreover, international legal positivism means acquiescence in coercive international relations. And the history of international law is one of continuing coercion, rooted in the racial shadow of liberalism. The chapter thus offers a critical discussion of the theory of legal obligation in Emer de Vattel, the place of imperialism in the history of international law, and the continuing mainstream discussion of unequal treaties. It then revisits the history of international law through the prism of phenomenology, thereby re-introducing the Aristotelian metaphysics of justice to the theory of international law.

Keywords: Specific treaties, Peace treaties, Choice of law, General principles of international law

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.