Regulation of armed conflict : critical comparativism
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Third world quarterly, Vol. 37, no. 11, 2016, p. 1990-2009
This paper calls for comparative analysis of international humanitarian law and Islamic laws regulating armed conflict by focusing on the underlying assumptions and interests informing both systems (rather than on rule-based comparison). It argues that examination of the biases inherent to each legal system can potentially inform scholars to understand better the paradigms shaping each of them. In doing so, the paper builds on contextual and critical interpretations of both fields of law to assert the need for ‘critical comparativism’ rather than functionalist comparativism. Unlike functionalist comparativism, which treats international law as the ‘objective’ benchmark against which other legal traditions are measured, ‘critical comparativism’ treats the two legal systems examined as alternative manifestations of power structures which, when contrasted against each other, help shed more light on the inherent bias in each legal system.