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E.H. Carr’s Theory of Law: Exploring the Elements and Problems of International Law

Chas, Carmen (2023) E.H. Carr’s Theory of Law: Exploring the Elements and Problems of International Law. Global Studies Quarterly, 3 (3). ISSN 2634-3797. (doi:10.1093/isagsq/ksad041) (KAR id:102655)


E.H. Carr’s thought and approach to international relations have been the subject of several recent works. Though the insights offered by this new literature are extremely valuable, the lack of engagement with Carr’s wider oeuvre—including Britain: A Study of Foreign Policy from the Versailles Treaty to the Outbreak of War, Conditions of Peace, The New Society, Nationalism and After, History of the Soviet Union Series, and articles—has inhibited the level of understanding we have gained of his thought. This paper offers a reinterpretation of Carr’s theory of international law that challenges the prevailing arch-realist reading of his theory. It explores the distinct elements of Carr’s thought on the limits and problems of international law, revealing his insights into the nature of international law and the ways in which it is affected by national interests and nationalism. Finally, this paper argues that this rarely tackled and misunderstood aspect of Carr’s theory of international relations is clearly present in his works and that it provides a powerful commentary on the fundamental problems faced by international law.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/isagsq/ksad041
Uncontrolled keywords: Immunology
Subjects: J Political Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Funders: University of Kent (
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2023 14:55 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 01:55 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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