In this chapter, I defend the idea of a distinctive methodology for doing international legal research. This methodology might be too easily dismissed as simply “doctrinal” in character: as unreflexive and theoretically impoverished. However, I will use theory, and specifically a normative commitment to the international rule of law - to international “legality” - to defend the systemic (and thus methodological) autonomy of international law. Nevertheless, my aim is also to show an inherent tension in this claim to autonomy, which is capable of being understood in both formal (non-instrumental) and more purposive (instrumental) terms, leading to an intrinsic push and pull between competing legitimacy claims. However, I also show how this structures international legal method, requiring international lawyers in particular to carefully navigate these competing claims, whilst ensuring that ends cannot fully displace means, thus undermining the integrity of the international legal order overall.
|Title of host publication||Research Methods in International Law. A Handbook|
|Editors||Rossana Deplano, Nicholas Tsagourias|
|Publisher||Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Jul 2021|
|Name||Handbooks of Research Methods in Law |