Concepts for International Law
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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.
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Chapter 24: Identity

John Haskell

Abstract

The theme of identity recurs throughout international law argument and doctrine. We speak of international legal personality, chart developing categories of international legal actors, extrapolate meaning about the purpose and state of the discipline, rely on identity to clarify tensions and assign obligations within the international legal framework. Running through these uses of identity is a generalized anxiety crisis about the authenticity and legitimacy of the profession itself, which offers insight into the possibilities and limits of how we might conceptualize legal expertise and reasoning.

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