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The course of international law over time needs to be understood if international law is to be understood. This work aims to provide such an understanding.
It is directed not at topics or subject headings — sources, treaties, states, human rights and so on — but at some of the key unresolved problems of the discipline.
Unresolved, they call into question its status as a discipline. Is international law “law” properly so-called ? In what respects is it systematic ? Does it — can it — respect the rule of law ?
They are in a dialectical relationship with the law, shaping it and being shaped by it. This is explained by reference to actual cases and examples, providing a course of international law in some standard sense as well.