Chicago Journal of International Law


The beginning of a new journal is always a moment of great promise and expectation, and the start of The Chicago Journal of International Law is no exception. The decision to launch an international law journal at this time no doubt reflects both a widespread understanding that many problems traditionally considered domestic have important international dimensions, and the increasing prominence and diversity of international legal norms and institutions. In this sense, the start of this journal reflects good news about the state of international law. But there is something disquieting about starting a new international law journal with an inquiry into the problems of international legal scholarship. While it is often useful for an academic discipline to self-consciously examine its own understandings, a Symposium dedicated to this topic may signal an underlying weakness in the discipline. The purpose of this short essay is to explore the unsettling juxtaposition presented by the launch of this journal and its Symposium theme: is there a connection between the good news about international law that prompts the start of this journal, and the bad news about international law scholarship that prompts this specific Symposium?