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 59: The Utopians

Akbar Rasulov


The concept of a utopian international lawyer, like the concept of utopia itself, is not a technical legal concept. Nor is it a designation of a recognized professional identity or a legal term of art. And yet if one looks at the broader conceptual landscape surrounding the contemporary international legal discourse, it certainly seems to carry a very important meaning in the eyes of the international legal profession, a meaning which in many ways is unique and has no discernible parallels in any other comparable cultural arena or discursive tradition. This chapter explores the internal phenomenology and the general theoretical structure behind this meaning. What is that basic complex of ideas, tropes, assumptions and discursive devices by means of which the concept of a utopian international lawyer is constructed, encoded and represented in the contemporary international legal culture? What is the cultural logic behind the traditional anti-utopianist reflex within the broader disciplinary field of international law? Why do international lawyers tend to resent utopianism so much? How do they explain and rationalize the logic of this resentment, and what can all this tell us about the broader power dynamics underlying the anti-utopianist discourse and the politics of identitarian designations that comes in its wake?

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.