Must International Legal Pedagogy Remain Eurocentric?

Mohsen Al Attar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Mainstream international law is Eurocentric. Throughout the past half millennia, no territory beyond Europe was safe from jus gentium's striking capability to legitimize the intrusion of European civilizational precepts. Beginning with the Americas but quickly shifting to Africa and Asia, each continent was a battleground for the penetration of a provincial knowledge system. In this paper, I explore the implications of Eurocentrism for international legal pedagogy. While textbook authors now pay homage to other civilizations, their effusions are ornamental only. Instead of supporting epistemological equivalency, they centre European international law throughout their works, exorcising the brutalities of European history that generated the law in question. After setting out the dilemma, I outline three approaches towards transforming international legal pedagogy that capitalize on the decolonization movement. Each method builds on the premise that, without epistemic diversity, legal pedagogy will continue to rationalize European international law's predatory impulse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-206
Number of pages31
JournalAsian Journal of International Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


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