Concepts for International Law
Show Less

Concepts for International Law

Contributions to Disciplinary Thought

Edited by Jean d’Aspremont and Sahib Singh

Concepts shape how we understand and participate in international legal affairs. They are an important site for order, struggle and change. This comprehensive and authoritative volume introduces a large number of concepts that have shaped, at various points in history, international legal practice and thought; intimates at how the many projects of international law have grappled with, and influenced, the world through certain concepts; and introduces new concepts into the discipline.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 14: Discourse

Florian Hoffmann


Discourse has been a key and increasingly pervasive concept in international law, even if it has retained a somewhat abstract and multifaceted connotation. First used in the (European) Renaissance to denote reflections on matters of state(hood), the concept went on – not least through the work of Michel Foucault – to refer to the particular form of governmentality represented by modern international law. Hence, discourse and/in international law concerns both the cognitive landscape of the world and its peoples which this modern international law constructs and which it (thereby) governs, as well as the ways in which international law has reflected upon itself, notably by theorizing its epistemic horizon and the practices attached to it. This chapter therefore seeks first to briefly explore in which ways the discourse of international law has shaped ‘the modern world’, and second to sketch in broad strokes the various theoretical discourses – and counterdiscourses – through which international law thematises itself.

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.