1st Edition

A Foucauldian Approach to International Law
Descriptive Thoughts for Normative Issues

ISBN 9781138277472
Published November 29, 2016 by Routledge
162 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

Foucault's challenging view of power and knowledge as the basis for interpreting the international system forms the central themes of this book. As the application of international law expands and develops this book considers how Foucault's approach may create a viable framework that is not beset by ontological issues. With International law essentially stuck within an older framework of outmoded statist approaches, and overly broad understanding of the significance of external actors such as international organizations; current interpretations are either rooted in a narrow attempt to demonstrate a functioning normative structure or interpret developments as reflective of some emerging and somewhat unwieldy ethical order. This book therefore aims to ameliorate the approaches of a number of different 'schools' within the disciplines of international law and international relations, without being wedded to a single concept. Current scholarship in international law tends to favour an unresolved critique, a utopian vision, or to refer to other disciplines like international relations without fully explaining the significance or importance of taking such a step. This book analyses a variety of problems and issues that have surfaced within the international system and provides a framework for consideration of these issues, with a view towards accounting for ongoing developments in the international arena.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Theoretical grounds for international law; Recognition, transformation, and power; Transgressing problems of customary international law; A descriptive moment for freedom of religion or belief; Human security from a transformative context; Non-governmental organisations and power; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

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Leonard Hammer is Senior Lecturer at Zefat College, Israel. He holds the following qualifications: JD from Georgetown University, LLM from NYU, and PhD from University of London (SOAS). Dr Hammer has published books and articles in the area of international law and international human rights, including the 2001 book The International Human Right to Freedom of Conscience (Ashgate). He has received a number of research grants and fellowships and is currently involved in a long-term project concerning holy places as well as developing programmes for Zefat Law School.


'This book presents an innovative and interesting approach to international law. It addresses some fundamental issues and problems within international law, offering a fresh perspective on state power via the ideas of Foucault. It should serve as the means for deepening our understanding of the international legal framework.' Ruth Lapidoth, Hebrew University, Israel and Recipient of the 2006 Israel Prize in Law 'For those who are unravelling the intricacies of international law, it will serve them well to consider Leonard M. Hammer's well-researched book...Anyone dealing with international law and politics should consider contemplating the ideas and reflections on Foucault that Hammer has presented in this book.' Law and Politics Book Review 'This work urges a de-coupling of international law from the traditional Westphalian notions of state sovereignty, allowing for the interaction and influence of actors above and below the state level. By doing so, the author makes an important contribution to the discussion of a more accommodating framework of international law and international relations. He argues convincingly for a transgressive framework, suggesting that the focus should be on the fluidity emanating from on-going discourse rather than on a more static outcome-based apporoach.' Singapore Yearbook of International Law 'Prozorov's text gives us a resonant reading of the constituent possibilities of freedom in Foucault's work.' The Leiden Journal of International Law