Research Handbook on the Theory and History of International Law
Show Less

Research Handbook on the Theory and History of International Law

Edited by Alexander Orakhelashvili

This pioneering Research Handbook, with contributions from renowned experts, provides a comprehensive scholarly framework for analyzing the theory and history of international law. Given the multiplication of theoretical approaches over the last three decades, and attendant fragmentation of scholarly efforts, this edited collection presents a useful doctrinal platform that will help academics and students to see the theory and history of international law in its entirety, and to understand how interdependent various aspects of the theory and history of international law really are.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 6: Hans Kelsen’s Place in International Legal Theory

Jörg Kammerhofer


Jörg Kammerhofer 6.1 THE PURE THEORY OF LAW AUJOURD’HUI Hans Kelsen and the Pure Theory of Law (Reine Rechtslehre) he founded has recently been subject to a revival, even in Anglo-Saxon countries traditionally critical of that approach. Legal scholars seemingly tired of their discipline being colonised by other areas of knowledge such as sociology, ethics or economics now once again seek to focus on the proper core of legal scholarship – to find out what the law itself says. In international law, this revival is much less marked,1 perhaps because international legal scholarship is a discipline even more steeped in pragmatism than many domestic traditions. This chapter is an attempt to carry the spirit of the Kelsen revival to the international realm. It seeks to apply the Pure Theory of Law to some of the current problems of international law and thus to endow that theory with a new usefulness that Kelsen is not usually accorded by current international legal scholarship. Another goal of this chapter is to get away from a gut-reaction against Kelsen and to avoid the stigma that is associated with his name in legal theory. This can be achieved by re-engaging with the Pure Theory without placing undue emphasis on polemic defence or attack and by thoroughly ‘modernising’ the topics discussed. This chapter aims to convince on the merits in order to get colleagues to engage with the Pure Theory of Law more broadly and to apply it to problems of international law. Hence, the...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.