Recommend to your Librarian

Philosophy of International Law

Anthony Carty

Edition: 2

Hardback i (Printed to Order)
eBook (ePub) i
eBook (PDF) i

Discover how philosophy is essential to the creation, development, application and study of international law

New for this edition

  • Updated to cover recent developments in international law, including the 2008 world financial crisis and its effect on international economic and financial law, and the Obama administration’s approach to international law in the war on terror
  • Each chapter includes suggestions for further reading, including the most current sources from 2016

Anthony Carty tracks the development of the foundations of the philosophies of international law, covering the natural, analytical, positivist, realist and postmodern legal traditions. You'll learn how these approaches were first conceived and how they shape the network of relationships between the signatories of international law.

Show more


Introduction: What Place for Doctrine in a Time of Fragmentation?
1. Continuing Uncertainty in the Mainstream
2. Towards a New Theory of Personality in International Law
3. The Existence of States and the Use of Force
4. International Economic/Financial Law

About the Author

Anthony Carty is the Cheng Yu Tung Chair of Public International Law at the Tsinghua University School of Law in Beijing. He is the author of Philosophy of International Law (Edinburgh University Press, 2017).


Carty can be said to be one of the leading scholars in 'critical international law' … Carty’s Philosophy of International Law explores the root of some problems existing in today’s international relations, with unique views and methods. As an international jurist and philosopher, he defies some general beliefs with his bold critique of the effect of international law, theories of States and the existing international legal order … These are things that we should consider carefully. And the book’s interdisciplinary viewpoints and multidimensional thinking are very inspiring.

- HE Tiantian, Institute of International Law, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Chinese Journal of International Law

In The Philosophy of International Law, the most radical and challenging idea is, in our view, the suggestion that international lawyers should pay much more attention to the people (or the 'social body or community; of each State (p. 67)) rather than focusing merely on the State and the individual, which may be (even) more abstract legal inventions than the people. It is true that every international lawyer has to consider the fact that after having largely ignored international Law for centuries, people are increasingly averse to it, perhaps because it still ignores them and follows its own path without them. In any event, instead of criticizing or lamenting this popular reaction, international lawyers should ask themselves why it is so and how they could change international Law and make people less angry about it. Anthony Carty’s book could certainly help them to fulfil this task.

- Florian Couveinhes Matsumoto, Ecole Normale Superieure , Journal of the History of International Law

Inspection Copy

You must log in or register to request an inspection copy.

You might also like ...