Mohsen Al-Attar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Eurocentrism colouring much mainstream scholarship is shunned by TWAIL, which has centred on international legal scholarship regarding the views of people historically marginalised by imperialism. In a single generation, TWAIL interventions have shifted the academia’s perceptions of international law. This forces scholars to account for the partialities of the purportedly universal international legal regime. However, TWAIL embraces iconoclasm and critique, and is also denoted by a formalist streak. Many of its scholars are committed to the regime, towing a counter-intuitive and inconsistent orthodox line. This study used WEB Du Bois’ concept of double-consciousness to explain the tension gripping TWAIL scholars. The formerly colonised are caught in a loop, aspiring to belong to the academy and the world. However, they recognise the discord between their emancipatory hope for international law and its predatory reality. Du Bois beseeches the colonised to fuse their clashing worldviews to produce a radical consciousness that advances human freedom.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-262
Number of pages24
JournalIndonesian Journal of International Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • double-consciousness
  • epistemology
  • Third World imaginaries
  • W. E. B. du Bois


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