Chicago Journal of International Law

Start Page



This Essay brings Abebe, Chilton, and Ginsburg’s Lead Essay into conversation with the literature on comparative international law to ask whether the social scientific approach to international law is “international.” In particular, this Essay takes the case of scholarship on international law in China to examine why or why not particular methodological and theoretical perspectives on international law may gain traction in certain jurisdictions’ legal academies. There are a number of linguistic, pedagogic, institutional, and, ultimately, political reasons why the Chinese scholarship that uses social science to understand international law is still nascent. At the same time, critical approaches to international law in the Chinese literature are ascendant. This Essay explains these divergent trends through a sociology of knowledge lens and offers provisional thoughts about future trajectories for the study of international law in a period during which China’s influence on the international system will most likely grow

Included in

Law Commons