From Apology to Utopia’s Point of Attack

Document Type

Book Review


Leiden Journal of International Law





This contribution to the Symposium celebrating the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of Martti Koskenniemi’s From Apology to Utopia explores the relevance of the book for contemporary theorists of the international world. In doing so, the article puts Koskenniemi’s classic in a contest with John Yoo’s recent book, Point of Attack. The purpose in doing so is three-fold. First, it is to illustrate the contemporary use of Koskenniemi’s structuralist method. Second, it is to show how the use of the method, with its attendant reliance on modes of legal thought, might give pause to international thinkers seeking to reinvigorate particular structures of argument from the nineteenth century. Third, the two books are put into conversation in order to highlight what I believe to be the very productive results of the structuralist method that have, for the most part, been dormant for a generation.


"© Foundation of the Leiden Journal of International Law 2016."