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Philosophy of Transnational Law: An inquiry on foundations and systematic of international law

Final Activity Report Summary - PHIL.TRANSNAT.LAW (Philosophy of transnational law: an inquiry on foundations and systematic of international law)

The research topic consisted in the analysis of the different schools of international law. The peculiarity of the approach has to be found in the use of tools derived from the political philosophy and the epistemology. The presupposition, here, is that the different interpretations of international law always rely upon extra-juridical conceptual assumptions which are fundamental for the development of the doctrine but remain, nevertheless, in the most cases largely implicit. The political philosophy provides the theoretical categories in order to specify the contents of these conceptual assumptions. On the other hand, epistemology allows us to construct the political-philosophical categories as paradigms of knowledge and action in which the different understandings of international law can be subsumed.

The first result of the research, therefore, has been the development of a taxonomy comprehending the paradigms of the theory of international law. Each paradigm describes the essential logic of functioning characterising a specific understanding of international law. It specifies, in other words, why the framework of international law is proposed to be centered on coexistence, cooperation, or rather - in a more ambitious attempt - on supranational organisation and supra-state juridification.

However, during the research it has become clear that the logic of functioning of every paradigm of international law is, at the same time, also the logic of functioning of a more complex idea of public order in general, containing the fundamental conceptual assumptions both of the order within the single polities and of the order (or disorder) between them. Hence, the second result of the research has consisted in extending the meaning of the described paradigms from the taxonomy of the theories on international order to a more comprehensive tableau of the conceptions of public order, in its domestic as well as in its inter-state or supra-state dimension.

As its outcome the research has eventually produced a conceptual tool to describe, classify and evaluate different ideas of public order, domestic as well as international or supranational. Brought to its core concept, it can be seen as the germ of a new "General Theory of Public Law".