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  • Publication
    Doing History to Justice: Theory and Historiography in the History of International Criminal Law
    (University College Dublin. School of Law, 2022)
    Taking its methodological cues from recent work on the theory and history of international law, this thesis has two primary aims. Firstly, to explore how history figures within international criminal law (ICL) scholarship and to identify the dominant historiographical trends present within this body of work. And secondly, with these trends and tendencies in mind, to identify and reclaim historical episodes that fall outside this established account, but which might still tell us much about the development and current state of the field. Part I provides a literature review and situates the thesis within the broader corpus of international law and ICL scholarship, focusing on the extent to which ICL scholars have undergone a ‘turn to history’ as in other subfields of international law. Following this, Part I then sets out the critical and theoretical underpinnings of the thesis. There is, firstly, the concept of periodisation which I draw on to think through how the dominant disciplinary accounts of ICL’s development are structured. And secondly, there is the body of work associated with ‘Third World Approaches to International Law’. This body of work will assist in developing substantive critiques of the mainstream accounts of ICL and will also provide guidance when developing my own ‘counter-narrative’ of ICL’s development in later chapters. Parts II and III of the thesis will draw on these historiographic insights with a view towards unsettling the standard account of ICL’s development. To this end, they will focus on specific moments where ICL norms and notions of international criminality animated popular activist causes during the American Civil Rights era, as well the anti-war movement during the Vietnam War. These two episodes have particular value, I will argue, as they help us to move beyond the institutional settings we typically focus on when engaging with the history of the field. The thesis thus concludes with a reflection on the value of this approach and signals some future directions for ICL scholarship.
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