Besides regulating inter-state relationships and the status of international organizations, international legal norms increasingly affect the rights and obligations of individuals. This state of affairs is reflected by the porosity of domestic law to international legal norms, and by an omnipresence of international legal issues in domestic political discourse.
Under such circumstances, it becomes crucial to reflect upon international law and its philosophical foundations. What are the historical foundations of the philosophy of international law? How can we determine whether an international legal norm is legitimate? Is international democracy possible, and how does international law relate to the concept of sovereignty? What are the sources of international law, and how are they interpreted? What responsibilities do states and international organizations incur if they violate their international obligations? Moreover, the above-mentioned observation on the development of international law has now become mainstream in international legal scholarship. Are there other developments that should be mentioned and studied, and what are they?
These are some of the questions that the members of the discussion group will look into in the upcoming months. Debating these issues should allow them to better understand current debates in international law and to critically evaluate existing theories and arguments.
The discussion group will not approach international law from a strictly legal perspective, but will focus on the philosophical foundations of international law. The group is thus also open to non- jurists interested in deepening their knowledge of the philosophy of international law and of contributing to the discussion from the perspective of other disciplines like philosophy, but also sociology, history or economy.