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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Marxism

Bhupinder Chimni

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved.date: 24 September 2022

Subject(s):
Customary international law — Legitimacy — Sovereignty

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 The Marxist approach to law, including international law, has its foundations in the materialist conception of history propounded by Karl Marx (1818–83). He sums up the idea of historical materialism in the famous preface to his book A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. In it, Marx designates the economic structure of society as ‘the real foundation, on which arises a legal and political superstructure’ (Marx [1857–58 reprinted 1970] 20). The use of the base-superstructure metaphor indicates that law and legal relations are reflective of the...
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