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Beyond the (Post)Colonial: TWAIL and the Everyday Life of International Law

Eslava, Luis, Pahuja, Sundhya (2012) Beyond the (Post)Colonial: TWAIL and the Everyday Life of International Law. Journal of Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America - Verfassung und Recht in Übersee (VRÜ), 45 (2). pp. 195-221. (doi:10.5771/0506-7286-2012-2-195) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:40962)

Language: English

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Third World Approaches to International Law, or ‘TWAIL’, is a response to both the colonial and postcolonial ethos of international law. It is also one of the most explicitly articulated juridical and political spaces in which to think about an international law beyond its (post)coloniality. In this article, we describe TWAIL as having a characteristic ‘double engagement’ with the attitudes of both reform and resistance vis-à-vis international law and scholarship. This double engagement has the potential to provide us with the tools both to delineate the (post)colonial character of international law, and to work actively toward a meaningfully plural international normative order. This latter possibility arises from a nascent conceptualisation within TWAIL scholarship of a universality that is compatible with an understanding of international law as an agonistic (and not imperial) project. To make good the tantalising potential of this ‘new’ universal, we suggest an explicit methodological move for TWAIL and its fellow travelers. Such a move involves paying attention to international law as a ‘material project’. By being attentive to the daily operation of international law on the mundane or ‘material’ plane of everyday life, it may be possible to generate a ‘praxis’ of (the new) universality. Such a praxis would trouble the way places and subjects are currently constituted in the name of the international and its (post)colonial ethos. Crucially, it would make intelligible to international legal scholarship the numerous forms of resistance already at play in the struggle against the (post)colonial normative order now being institutionalised and administered across the world.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.5771/0506-7286-2012-2-195
Uncontrolled keywords: Postcolonialism, Postcolonial, Third World Approaches to International Law, TWAIL, International Law, Universality, Materiality, Resistance, Reform, Method, Ethnography, Agonic International Law, Praxis of Universality, Political International Lawyer
Subjects: K Law
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Catherine Norman
Date Deposited: 06 May 2014 14:16 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2023 11:33 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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