The Sentimental Life of International Law: Literature, Language, and Longing in World Politics (Hardcover)

The Sentimental Life of International Law: Literature, Language, and Longing in World Politics By Gerry Simpson Cover Image
Ships from Warehouse, Usually in 1-8 Days


The Sentimental Life of International Law is about our age-old longing for a decent international society and the ways of seeing, being, and speaking that might help us achieve that aim. This book asks how international lawyers might engage in a professional practice that has become, to adapt a title of Janet Malcolm's, both difficult and impossible. It suggests that international lawyers are disabled by the governing idioms of international lawyering, and proposes that they may be re-enabled by speaking different sorts of international law, or by speaking international law in different sorts of ways.

In this methodologically diverse and unusually personal account, Gerry Simpson brings to the surface international law's hidden literary prose and offers a critical and redemptive account of the field. He does so in a series of chapters on international law's bathetic underpinnings, its friendly relations, the neurotic foundations of its underlying social order, its screened-off comic dispositions, its anti-method, and the life-worlds of its practitioners. Finally, the book closes with a chapter in which international law is re-envisioned through the practice of gardening. All of this is put forward as a contribution to the project of making international law, again, a compelling language for our times.

About the Author

Gerry Simpson is a Professor of International Law at LSE. He previously held the Sir Kenneth Bailey Chair of Law at Melbourne Law School and studied law at the University of Aberdeen, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). He is the author of Great Powers and Outlaw States (Cambridge, 2004) (awarded the American Society of International Law's annual prize, and translated into several languages) and Law, War and Crime: War Crimes Trials and the Reinvention of International Law (Polity, 2008). Gerry is currently co-directing a project on the Cold War (with Matt Craven and Sundhya Pahuja) and writing a meditation on nuclearism entitled The Atomics: Life, Love and Death at the End of the World.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780192849793
ISBN-10: 0192849794
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: February 18th, 2022
Pages: 240
Language: English

eBooks & Audio Books

Click here to shop for audio book and eBooks

UPB open Tuesday through Friday 1PM - 6PM, Saturday Noon - 5pm

2430 Bancroft Way

The store known for serving pure brain food has returned to our old digs for a few months to sell down inventory and bid fare thee well to our decades of in-store customers.

Days and hours subject to change.

Note: This site lists what's available for special order from Ingram Content Group.
Visit our pages at Alibris or Biblio to survey in-store stock priced above $19.95.
Discount applies only to in-store purchases.

Cafe Ohlone

Once hosted by UPB, Cafe Ohlone now serves guests outside the Hearst Museum of Anthropology on the Cal campus.

Savor the foods which characterized east bay cuisine for thousands of years, before European contact. Brought to you by Mak'amham.

For information and to place reservations, see their web page at

Front facade of University Press Books

From 1974, University Press Books has stoked the blaze of well over ten thousand minds on fire, carrying new scholarship published by the great university presses in the English-speaking world.

Order from us. Shop us. Let well-wrought words churn and burn within.