Author: Mohsen al Attar

International lawyers do debate class, but not necessarily in their own professional milieu. There is significant literature on ‘bourgeois’ international law, while the discussion as to what a ‘proletarian’ international law might look like is still alive and well (see for example here, here, and here). Despite these long-standing ties between international legal scholarship and the question of class, there...

Legal academia is a contact sport. Students, faculty, and managers brutalise one another with gusto. Personifying the adversarial character of the dominant legal systems, they wrestle over course design and assessment, procedures and promotions, not to mention teaching allocation and the inevitable inequities that ensue. And I’ve only scratched the surface. To improve win rates (or survival chances), participants in...

Mohsen al Attar and Ata R. Hindi, with Claire Smith* What has Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reaffirmed for racialised scholars of international law? For one, we’re reminded of the limitless capacity of international lawyers to centre themselves and the discipline we hold dear, come what may. Once more, we are in crisis, jeremiads flowing with the freedom of disciplinary self-importance. What...

What is the difference between a Marxist and a TWAILer (except for the class element)?Julia Emtseva, Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute* Posed on twitter, this question about Third World Approaches to International Law triggered a flurry of responses. 'Many TWAILers are grounded in historical materialism'; 'it’s about the ‘ultimate’ power relations…to TWAIL, it’s empire-colony, or race'; and 'most TWAIL draws heavily...

The eminent jurist Harry Arthurs opens a provocative article — Law and Learning in an Era of Globalisation — with a binary. He splits legal scholars into pools of optimists and pessimists, classifying them according to their perception of the trajectory of legal education.  “The optimists amongst us assume that human hands — our hands — shape legal education, that legal...

Mohsen al Attar and Rafael Quintero Godinez Investment is a heavy word. It stumbles rather than rolls off the tongue, perhaps because the speaker is aware of its convoluted character. It invokes images of factories, infrastructure, workers, money, and men (in suits or in hard hats, usually both). Most of all, investment conveys an evolutionary trajectory; one that is ideological and...

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...