Listening to Ourselves: Analysing Knowledge Production on Identity and Diversity in the International Bench

In 2011, Hilary Charlesworth affirmed that while feminist engagements in international law had successfully brought the language of women’s empowerment to the discipline, they had been less adept at committing to feminist methods and theory that give this language life on the ground. Ten years later, things have remained fairly unchanged. The literature on diversity and identity in international courts (ICs) is a case in point. This growing body of literature has criticized and proposed reforms to the white male and stale composition of ICs. However, there has been little engagement with its theoretical grounding and normative agendas. This paper explores what is consolidated and excluded by these works. Section 2 reconstructs this scholarly canon, its running threads and disciplinary impact. Section 3 critically examines its works’ theoretical underpinnings and its silenced and unanswered questions. Finally, section 4 explores ways for richer accounts on diversity and identity in ICs.