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Aesthetics and Counter-Aesthetics of International Justice


Christine Schwöbel-Patel and Robert Knox

B & W 229 x 152 mm | Perfect Bound on White w/Matte Laminate | TBA pages | Paperback ISBN 978-1-910761-17-5 | E-book (ePDF) ISBN 978-1-910761-18-2 | Forthcoming 2023

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In recent years, growing attention has been paid to the relationship between international law and aesthetics. This collection situates this relationship within its wider political context, demonstrating that the question of aesthetics in not neutral but rather connected to the social, economic, and political relationships in which international justice is deeply embedded. The first part of the collection is an invitation to reflect on what we see and register in international justice, in particular in representations of those who suffer violence, including the violence of law. The second part of the collection uses different forms to reflect on how aesthetics can be turned against the dominant aesthetics and politics of international law, in the form of ‘counter-aesthetics’ through cartoons, interviews, parables, and a screenplay. This collection is the first of its kind to make visible the dominant and normalized aesthetics of violence and justice through a political economy lens; and to take seriously the limitations of the aesthetic forms that give violence and justice their expression.


1. The Aesthetics of International Justice
Christine Schwöbel Patel and Robert Knox
Form: Academic chapter

2. The International Criminal Court in Focus: The Representation of Victimhood on YouTube
Sofia Stolk

3. Displaying the Victim: Essentialized Aesthetics of Victimhood in Transitional Justice Debates
Padraig McAuliffe
Form: Academic chapter

4. The Image of the Asylum Seeker and Spectacular Deterrence in UK Asylum Law
Anne Neylon
Form: Academic chapter

5. Aesthetics and the Construction of the ‘Grateful Refugee’: Critical Perspectives from Law and Design
Christine Schwöbel-Patel and Deger Ozkaramanli
Form: Academic chapter

6. International Trials and Justice for Victims: A View from Practice
Wayne Jordash and Ruby Axelson
Form: Academic chapter

7. An International Justice Gown
Terry Duffy
Form: Artwork


8. Counter-Aesthetics of International Justice
Christine Schwöbel-Patel and Robert Knox
Form: Academic chapter

9. Provocation and Possibility in Counter-Aesthetics
Anastasia Tataryn
Form: Academic chapter

10. Recasting Atrocities as Public Health Catastrophes
Randle DeFalco
Form: Academic chapter

11. Violence
Jo Frank
Form: Poem

12. Why Eichmann Couldn’t Laugh: Fifteen, One-Minute Parables
Gerry Simpson
Form: Parables

13.‘Poetic Justice Products’: International Justice, Victim Counter-Aesthetics, and the Spectre of the Show Trial
Alex Batesmith
Form: Academic chapter

14. Pinan: Comics and International Justice
Carolina Alonso Bejarano and Peter Quach
Form: Comic and Interview

15. Alternative Superheroes
Kate Evans
Form: Interview

Christine Schwöbel-Patel is Professor of Law at the University of Warwick, Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, and co-Director of the Centre for Critical Legal Studies.

Robert Knox is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Liverpool, and an editor of ‘Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory’ and the ‘London Review of International Law’.

Example using Chicago Manual of Style:


Christine Schwöbel-Patel and Robert Knox, Aesthetics and Counter-Aesthetics of International Justice  (Oxford: Counterpress, 2023).


Schwöbel-Patel, Christine, and Knox, Robert. Aesthetics and Counter-Aesthetics of International Justice . Oxford: Counterpress, 2023.