Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Special Issue on Foucault and International Law

2012 marks Leiden Journal of International Law (LJIL)’s 25th anniversary.

Added 24 August 2012. Now published

LJIL celebrates this Silver Jubilee with several initiatives, including a new prize. One of the highlights of LJIL volume 25 will be the special issue on Foucault and International Law.

The Leiden Journal of International Law is now soliciting articles for a special issue exploring the relevance of Foucault’s oeuvre to international law and legal theory. Apart from its merits for philosophy, political theory and sociology, the importance of Michel Foucault as a legal thinker (both as a thinker of law in his own right and as a thinker whose work can be illuminating for legal studies) is increasingly being felt. With the continuing translation and publication of Foucault’s lecture courses at the Collège de France and the ongoing importance of his already published work, Foucault’s work continues to provide fertile suggestions for rethinking many of our established notions of law, right(s), sovereignty and legal subjectivity. Yet to date there have been, with some notable exceptions, few sustained treatments of Foucault’s relevance to international law and international legal theory.

What is the relevance of Foucaultian methodologies (archaeology, genealogy, problematisation) to international law and international legal theory? What does a Foucaultian analytic of international law entail? How can we use it to analyse international legal subjectivity? How does that relate to, inter alia, sovereign statehood and/or human rights law? How can the Foucaultian toolbox contribute to our understanding of the devolution of international public law, its fragmentation and specialisation (e.g. as an instance of governmentality)? What about international law ‘from below’ (the relevance of Foucaultian models of power/resistance, anti-globalisation perspectives and critiques of neoliberalism and the global rule of law, for example). These questions are just a number of suggestions, intended as provocations for thought, within the general theme of ‘Foucault and International law’ we invite contributors to interrogate and critically engage with.

Contributors will be asked to prepare an article of approximately 10,000 words (including footnotes) for publication in the LJIL, consistent with its instructions for authors. Unsolicited papers will also still be considered. Potential contributors are encouraged to contact before 10th May 2011 either of the (guest) editors to discuss their proposals at b.golder@unsw.edu.au or TAalberts@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

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