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on 16 August 2009
The Decolonization of International Law is one of the more interesting books I've read in IR / International Law canon. It seems to be part of a newer wave of experimental literature in IR / International Law that weaves together sociological, historical, and philosophical streams into a single narrative - so from a purely methodological approach, it is not just interesting but allows for a much more entertaining read. We get to see personal squabbles of lawyers as well as doctrinal disputes and diverse political agendas. The theme is also provocative - which, just to be incredibly reductionist, is that history matters in understanding international law, but that history should really take off in the wake of decolonization. So, on the one hand, the author has challenged the orthodox approaches to provide a much more nuanced understanding of the dynamics at play, but on the other hand, seems to have found a way to do a deeply anti-imperialist/anti-colonial argument that doesn't send us packing for the pre-WW1 era (or World War eras for that matter).

Definitely worth a read, and maybe one of those books down the road that will end up pushing scholarship in new directions.
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