26 September 2014

BLOG: ESIL Reflection on Collective Memory and International Law (Moshe Hirsh)

The European Society of International Law posted an ESIL Reflection on "Collective Memory and International Law", by Moshe Hirsch (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), which can be found here.

This Reflection briefly introduces the concept of collective memory and sketches out some lines pertaining to mutual interactions between international law and collective memories. The point of departure of this and other socio-legal studies of international law is that international legal rules and institutions are embedded in diverse social factors and processes (such as norms, socialization or identity).  A sociological analysis of international law enriches our understanding of the social factors involved in the formation, evolution and implementation of international law. Such an analysis may not only shed light on past and present trends in international law but may also bear certain implications for the interpretation of existing legal provisions, as well as suggesting better legal mechanisms for coping with contemporary challenges faced by international law. While sociological literature provides valuable tools for analyzing various international legal topics, it does not aim to substitute economic, political or other analyses but rather to complement them. Collective memory is one of the relatively new concepts in sociology's conceptual toolbox and since the 1980s has attracted increasing attention of sociologists (and scholars from other disciplines).

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