Your approach is quite interdisciplinary. What have been some of the benefits (or challenges) to bringing insights from different disciplines?
Well, that also depends on the definition of disciplines, I would argue. In my view, the discipline of international law tends to be defined quite narrowly. Thinking about subjects and rights in international law does not become interdisciplinary only because the theoretical basis is not Hart or Kelsen or because the theoretical premise is made explicit. This making explicit and questioning of theoretical bases as well as the use of another conceptual approach is however what is at the heart of, and extremely beneficial for, my argumentation.
How have your experiences at the Graduate Institute’s Global Governance Centre, and in particular working on the ERC-funded “Paths of International Law” project shaped your research?
To be surrounded by researchers speaking more international relations than international law language has increased my sensitivities on how to formulate my thoughts for different audiences, and how to look at international law from very different angles. As for the Paths project, it has been very enriching but also challenging at times, to work within two quite different methodological frameworks. Writing case studies on a wide range of topics (theoretically and substantively) helped me to expand my thinking beyond what my thesis can cover. Also, looking for incremental legal change within the scope of that project has sharpened my eye for the more hidden elements in the developments of the discourse(s) on human rights obligations of corporations.
Dorothéa Endres is a doctoral candidate at the Graduate Institute’s International Law Department. Her thesis is entitled ‘Does power oblige? A conceptual approach to the discourse on human rights obligations of corporations’. Dorothea’s latest publication is ‘The Human Side of Protecting Foreign Investment’ in Transnational Legal Theory.