Institutional and material conditions matter for the production of feminist international legal scholarship as well as for the future of women’s engagement with international law.
This simple assumption lies at the heart of this chapter that attempts to map the consequences of the ongoing neoliberalisation of universities and its impacts on the processes of teaching, learning and re-searching international law in an academic environment. More specifically, I will reflect on how the disciplining of academic endeavours according to market imperatives has contradictory implications for the position of women within the discipline and for the emergence of feminist orientations both in the ways we teach international law and on research and publishing.
To do so, I will proceed in three steps. First, I will reflect on the need to examine the teaching of international law in higher education institutions as an essential step for safeguarding the future of women in international law. Secondly, I will map the transformation of higher education in Anglophone environments in the course of the last three decades with an emphasis on the rapid subordination of these spaces to the imperatives of neoliberalism. Finally, I will examine the impact of these evolutions on feminist legal scholarship and the position of women within international legal academia.
My concluding argument is that even though the marketisation of higher education has begun dissolving former status-based hierarchies and has opened up space for heterodox approaches to the discipline, increased emphasis on competition and an emerging consumerist culture are directly antithetical to a meaningfully feminist ethos in academic international law.