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Philosophy of International Law

Anthony Carty

Edition: 2

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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.

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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

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