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Legalpolitik: Legalized Realism and a Theory of International Lawpower
Mon. 12 December 2016, 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm ACDT
Presented by Ryder McKeown, Policy Group, Canadian Department of Defence, and Graduate Student, University of Toronto
Abstract: The historical divide between power and international law is breaking down in a modern international system that is at once anarchical, competitive, and highly legalized. While several scholars have examined the intersection of power and law, realists have paid scant attention to how international law is used as a form of power in its own right. McKeown builds on recent lawfare scholarship as well as constructivist theories of international law to begin the concept development necessary for a realist theory of lawpower arguing that international law should be considered a strategic domain akin to sea, air, land, space and cyberspace – what could be called lawspace. Ultimately, McKeown argues that this conception of international law, along with the idea of lawspace, has significant implications for both theory and strategy.