International Investment Law and History
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International Investment Law and History

Edited by Stephan W. Schill, Christian J. Tams and Rainer Hofmann

Historiographical approaches in international investment law scholarship are becoming ever more important. This insightful book combines perspectives from a range of expert international law scholars who explore ways in which using a broad variety of methods in historical research can lead to a better understanding of international investment law.
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Chapter 6: The challenges of history in international investment law: A view from legal theory

Jörg Kammerhofer


This chapter highlights, from a legal theoretical perspective, both the risks and the potential benefits of instrumentalizing the history and historiography of law in international investment law. Investment law scholars should study their field’s theoretical foundations and historical bases, but should take care not to fall into the trap of abusing history and historiography in legal argumentation. The chapter first discusses the dangers of instrumentalizing history, using critical legal historians’ ideologization of investment law as an example. It then points to the potential usefulness of one form of historical research – the histories of legal doctrines (Dogmengeschichte), which helps us to see that the historical lineage of customary investment law is in considerable doubt.

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