A new volume of the ESIL Series, titled “International Law and Universality” was published in April 2024.

The editors are Işıl Aral, Assistant Professor of Public International Law, Koç University, and Jean d’Aspremont, Professor of International Law, Sciences Po School of Law.

This book takes an unflinching look at the roles and functions played by the idea of universality in international legal discourses, as well as the narratives of progress that often accompany it. In doing so, it provides a critical appraisal of the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion attendant to international law and its universalist discursive strategies. Universality is therefore not reduced to the question of the geographical outreach of international law but is instead understood in terms of boundaries. This entails examining how the idea of universality was developed in the dominant vernaculars of international law – primarily English and French – before being universalised and imposed upon international lawyers from all traditions.

This analysis simultaneously offers an opportunity to revisit the ideologies that constitute the identity of international lawyers today, as well as the socialisation and legal educational processes that international lawyers undergo. With an emphasis on the binaries that arise from the invocation of the idea of universality in international legal discourses, this book sheds new light on the idea of universality as a fraught site of contestation in international legal discourses.

The books collects contributions by Işıl Aral, Jean d’Aspremont, Gail Lythgoe, Ekaterina Yahyaoui, Matthew Nicholson, Frédéric Mégret, Mark Retter, Akbar Rasulov, Tilmann Altwicker, Lorite Alejandro, Régis Bismuth, Mashood Baderin, Mohammed Shahabuddin, Markus Beham, Milan Tahroui, Andreas Kulick, Kanad Bagchi, Elisabeth Roy Trudel, Maiko Meguro, and Zinaida Miller.

Please find further details here.