From Apology to Utopia’s Conditions of Possibility

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Martti Koskenniemi's From Apology to Utopia is (rightly) considered a classic in international legal theory. The study tracks the oscillation of international legal argument over hundreds of years to reconcile seeming incongruencies: legal reasoning does not provide determinacy, but it brings weighted direction to political conflict; legal categories are amorphous, yet also an autonomous field of study. Though not commonly engaged, the methodological and theoretical posture of the book is significantly informed by a theory of history. This article focuses on this historical element within the text as a means to analyze some of its central claims and situate it within a broader sociology of knowledge production particular to late twentieth century legal academia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-676
JournalLeiden Journal of International Law
Issue number3
Early online date28 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2016


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