Development Studies

Critical Perspectives of International Economic Law

Critical perspectives can be both distinct from and form part of the broadly defined ‘socio-legal’ approach to social inquiry. To adopt a critical perspective is to commit to the project of demystifying and disrupting dominant narratives, interpretations and ways of both knowing and understanding legal phenomena. It represents a quest for truth and offers alternative ways of seeing the world around us. As such, critical perspectives encompass doctrinal, empirical and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of law. In short, it is the purpose of critical approaches to challenge and disrupt that which has been taken to be a ‘given’ in mainstream discourses and narratives

International Economic Law Teachers in Africa Need to Beat Their Own Drums

“Not acceptable at this level”, a professor commented on one of my exam questions that asked students to “[d]escribe the salient features of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).” This happened in 2017 at the University of Namibia (UNAM) where, until last year, I taught the International Economic Law module, a module pitched at the level of a bachelor honors degree. The professor – an academic from a leading South African university hired to moderate examination papers from UNAM’s Faculty of Law – recommended that I tweak my question as follows: “Discuss the validity of the Southern African Customs Union in the WTO framework”.