The Oxford handbook of the theory of international law
Oxford [etc.] : Oxford University Press, 2016
This chapter provides an overview of the theories of international humanitarian law. The author distinguishes between internal theorizing, which he describes as the sort of theorizing that devotes itself to making sense of the discipline among its practitioners and within bounds that are taken for granted, and external theorizing, which he describes as less interested in the laws of war as a system than as an object, and less focused on explaining the operation of these laws than understanding what they mean generally and for international law specifically. He concludes that a renewal of theorizing on the outskirts of the laws of war compensates for a lack of theorizing within the mainstream of the discipline.