Research Handbooks on Globalisation and the Law series
Edited by Sabino Cassese
Chapter 25: The disputed field of global lawyering
For a long time, international law has paid very little attention to its professionals. Of the 8,510 Festschriften articles published between 1930 and 2000 in the field of public international law, only eight make direct reference to the legal or the judicial profession, while – rather unsurprisingly – papers on procedural aspects abound. However, recently, in a context in which the fragmentation of international law had raised concerns about its existence as a ‘body of law’, legal scholars have begun to address the history of the discipline and its ‘founding fathers’. Martti Koskenniemi, David Kennedy and other scholars have explored the symbiotic relationship between their disciplinary body of knowledge, the professional community of international lawyers and the production of global governance. In a parallel trend, which, however, features many possible bridges with the former approach, critical legal sociology has also pushed for a renewed interest in the history of legal entrepreneurs, professional networks, transnational milieus and global fields of law. More recently, following a surge in interest in the history of international government, a new generation of historians (in particular from the United States) has joined the tide, prompting a new body of empirical research on the history of international law and lawyers and how these have become intertwined with global governance, in its various historical forms.
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