Research Handbook on Critical Legal Theory
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Research Handbook on Critical Legal Theory

Edited by Emilios Christodoulidis, Ruth Dukes and Marco Goldoni

Critical theory, characteristically linked with the politics of theoretical engagement, covers the manifold of the connections between theory and praxis. This thought-provoking Research Handbook captures the broad range of those connections as far as legal thought is concerned and retains an emphasis both on the politics of theory, and on the notion of theoretical engagement. The first part examines the question of definition and tracks the origins and development of critical legal theory along its European and North American trajectories. The second part looks at the thematic connections between the development of legal theory and other currents of critical thought such as; Feminism, Marxism, Critical Race Theory, varieties of post-modernism, as well as the various ‘turns’ (ethical, aesthetic, political) of critical legal theory. The third and final part explores particular fields of law, addressing the question how the field has been shaped by critical legal theory, or what critical approaches reveal about the field, with the clear focus on opportunities for social transformation.
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Chapter 23: Critical law and development

Fiona Macmillan

Abstract

This chapter argues that the international development project is an artefact of the system of international economic law that was remade at the end of the Second World War. In this role, it is fundamentally implicated in the long relationship between international law, Western capitalism and imperialism. As a result, the famous 1922 ‘dual mandate’, according to which colonialism was justified as part of the universal historical mission of the imperial powers, continues to be central to the development project. The chapter suggests that the failure of the development project in the ‘developing’ world, with its consequent human suffering, may be alternatively characterised as a great success for that portion of the planet that counts itself, in international law terms, as developed.

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