Author: Mohsen al Attar

As a teenager, I read Angela Davis, CLR James, Edward Said, Kwame Nkrumah, and Malcolm X. From a young age, I was perplexed by the contingency of global living standards, failing to comprehend why much of my national community (in Egypt) was mired in squalor while my adopted ones were swaddled in comfort. Each thinker linked contemporary privilege to historic...

One year ago, I accepted the role of Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of the West Indies. I did not act on a whim. Throughout my academic career, I’ve held many management roles from Director of Postgraduate Studies to Director of Internationalisation and plenty of others in between. A deanship was the natural—and, frankly, desirable—next step.  Over...

By now, many of us have stumbled headfirst into the sewage of the Sewell Report. For those who missed it, the British government released a report on racial disparities that denies the structural character of racism in British society. In fact, the authors went further, proclaiming the UK as an exemplar of racial equality that other White-majority states should emulate. Mostly absent from...

Few international economic lawyers doubt the value of foreign direct investment (FDI). There is even some consensus that FDI plays a vital role in fostering development in host states. It triggers technology expansion, assists human capital formation, and nurtures a dynamic business environment. States—especially across the Third World—appeal to investors in the hopes of attracting a share of the green gold. Although there is truth to...

International legal scholarship is undergoing a metamorphosis. Scholars may quibble over the catalyst and trajectory, but they concur that a shift is underway. At least this was the premise of a symposium organised by the Chicago Journal of International Law this past week, entitled The Transformation of International Law Scholarship. The event showcased three American legal academics: Daniel Adebe, Adam Chilton, and Tom Ginsburg....

I draw your attention to the title. It is an amalgamation of two phrases. Follow the money is pithy, even a little crass. It is often uttered in television crime dramas, usually to aid the protagonist identify the culprit. The Misery of International Law is the title of a book by Linarelli, Salomon, and Sornorajah. So provocative is this text on International Economic Law (IEL) that it...

What is power? Which states have it, and which don’t? Are there some processes that accelerate its ascendancy and others that quicken its decay? Most of all, how does public international law (PIL) correspond to this concept and to these processes? In Emerging Powers and the International Order, Andreas Buser touches upon all of these questions. In the following post,...

What does the dean of a law faculty do? I asked myself this question throughout my academic career. Most of the time, they appear both indispensable and irrelevant in equal measure. Deans are quixotic, sometimes even hostile. They do not teach; they produce little research; and many law faculties are acrimonious places, suggesting that organisational leadership is not within their...

Formalism in the teaching of international law is burning out. This is not surprising. Its application always seemed impractical, suffering from the theory’s glaring defects as well as unique flaws when administered to international law. Treaty interpretation and state practice, for example, the two most suitable facets for formalist analysis, proved deficient in producing the conclusive-qua-correct outcomes that formalists fetishize....