New paper: The Many Fields of (German) International Law

I have a new paper out on SSRN on ‘The Many Fields of (German) International Law‘. The abstract is below. The paper is my contribution to a very interesting, Virginia-based project on ‘comparative international law’, which seeks to make progress in understanding how and why international law is understood and practised differently in different countries. Comments and suggestions welcome!

Abstract: This paper contributes to the emerging field of comparative international law with a focus on academic international law in Germany, but also with an interest in the methodology of comparison. It uses the concept of social field as the starting point of its inquiry, outlines the different fields that are at play in international law, and then inquires into the operation of these fields, and their interrelations, in the case of Germany. It highlights particular characteristics of German international legal thought, the relatively limited projection of German scholarship into the transnational field of international law, and the peculiar dependence of international law on the broader public law field in Germany. It then inquires into the respective strengths of field-based and alternative approaches for understanding German international law, and concludes by considering the broader promise of placing social fields at the centre of the comparative effort.