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Around twenty years ago, a challenge was laid down to international law by those writing at the critical periphery of the discipline; a challenge that has yet to find satisfactory response. Although often (mistakenly) characterised as nihilist, this book seeks to recast it in positive terms; to pose the question of what – if anything – is left of international law and ethics if we accept both that apolitical rules are impossible and that the values that must – inevitably – be used to justify them are irreducibly, radically subjective. After detailed analyses of different political and international legal philosophers who have confronted this issue, the answer is located in a “turn to literature” and a rehabilitation of the ancient notion of rhetoric.