Feminist theories and international law
in The boundaries of international law
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This chapter introduces a range of feminist theories and considers their value in understanding the field of international law. It starts by outlining the theoretical underpinnings of traditional international legal thinking, starting with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. It surveys natural law, positivist and liberal theories of international law. It then describes more recent theories such as those of the ‘New Haven’ school, the critical ‘Newstream’ in international law and the ‘Third World Approaches to International Law’. The chapter sketches a variety of feminist theories including liberal feminism, cultural feminism, radical feminism, postmodern feminism and Third World feminisms. It concludes that all can be useful in investigating the foundations of international law, endorsing the concept of ‘world travelling’ as a feminist methodology. The chapter sets out the theoretical and pragmatic goals of the book, acknowledging the tension between them.

The boundaries of international law

A feminist analysis, with a new introduction

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