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Prof. Stefan Gosepath
Prof. Andrew Hurrell
Prof. Heike Krieger (Chair)
Prof. Andrea Liese
Prof. Andreas Zimmermann
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Berlin Potsdam Research Group
International Rule of Law - Rise or Decline?
Thielallee 69
14195 Berlin
e-Mail: info(at)kfg-intlaw.de
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Three Perspectives

The Research Group seeks to analyse and assess the described processes of change in international law. Through an interdisciplinary approach, it aims to look past individual symptoms and monocausal models. This requires that perspectives from political science are taken into account, in particular concerning the theory and practice of international relations. Interdisciplinary dialogue can reveal diverging perceptions, and this dialogue can also serve to determine the relative importance of individual tendencies as regards the future of international law as a central normative order governing international relations. Such a dialogue would allow the question concerning fundamental changes in international law to be asked, without overestimating the importance of certain highly visible symptoms of crisis.

The analysis of these developments and tensions in international law can be undertaken on different levels of abstraction. Disciplines other than international law tend to produce macro-analyses, in political science, for example, in the form of new paradigms ("non-polar world"), or historically oriented approaches in the form of a new epoch paradigm ("post-cold-war period"). International law scholars themselves often tend to focus either on a micro-analysis of certain critical events or conflicts and special norm analyses, or on macro-analyses ("constitutionalization", "fragmentation", "pluralisation"), which neglect the importance of concrete shifts or symptomatic events in international relations. Empirical social sciences, in turn, question the given assumptions and test models, but they tend not to evaluate phenomena normatively.

The Research Group aims at an assessment on a middle (meso) level of abstraction: current developments in international relations will be explored from the different angles of international law, political science and also from a historical perspective. Comparing these angles will then enable the Research Group to formulate an informed diagnosis about possible factual and normative lines of development of the international legal order. This will take place from three different research perspectives, which the Research Group refers to as Values (1.), Structures (2.) and Institutions (3.).

See also: The General Questions

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