Published : 2022-12-19

International community and communitarianism in international law


This essay proposes that one of the most notable achievements of Professor Janusz Gilas’s work is the development of community-oriented thinking in Polish international legal scholarship. His use of the term “international community” is not merely figurative and does not boil down to distinguishing another doctrinal concept. The article further develops the legal debate around the concept of international community by proposing that it should be grounded in philosophical and political communitarianism. After briefly discussing Gilas’s contribution and its theoretical underpinnings in the form of the sociological theory by Ferdinand Tönnies and the achievements of the English School of international relations, this article undertakes to present communitarianism as a social and political philosophy and its relation to the concept of the international community, its theoretical alternatives, and their base values. Having clarified the possible communitarian interpretation of the international community, the author turns to the question of the possibility of communitarian international law. The article concludes by reinterpreting the thesis that international law is viable and conceivable only as community law, oriented toward the common good.





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Widłak, T. (2022). International community and communitarianism in international law . Polish Review of International and European Law, 12(2), 37–55.

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