“Pre-school days” of the Invisible College


Before becoming the official blog of the Netherlands School of Human Rights Research, the Invisible College Blog was the result of the joining of forces of two earlier weblogs:

Despite the somewhat similar backgrounds of the contributors – rather recent University graduates with an interest in things international – , both blogs probably differed somewhat in their approaches: The Core focused rather tightly on those areas of international law which directly affect individuals (i.e. human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law) and mostly contained rather "lawyerly" posts, while 1948 took a much broader approach, focusing on international law, politics, economics, and philosophy and featuring somewhat more essayistic posts.

Why did we call the blog ‘Invisible College’?

By joining forces, we aimed to combine the strengths of both blogs and offer our readers a variety of insights and commentaries on new developments in the international arena. We also hoped that the blog could become more than just a site for comments and analyses: The blog’s title refers to a 1977 article by Oscar Schachter ("The Invisible College of International Lawyers", 72 Northwestern University Law Review (1977) 217-226), in which he speaks of the "professional community of international lawyers" forming an "invisible college dedicated to a common intellectual enterprise". While Schachter mostly concerns himself with international lawyers who are government officials and/or career academics, it seems that the "invisible college" he speaks of has grown substantially in the 30 years since then; it now includes undergraduate and graduate students, interns with various international organisations, University researchers, attorneys working in international practice areas, NGO lawyers and many more.

Objectives of the blog

We thus intended the blog to become not only an interesting read, but an actual community resource for this diverse group. We thus published not only commentaries on international developments, but also posts on Master and Doctoral programs, summer schools, job opportunities in the field, web resources for scientific research, etc. etc. We also hoped to engage our readers and to enable them to actively contribute to a dialogue on such questions.

8 thoughts on ““Pre-school days” of the Invisible College

  1. Dear Otto and friends,

    Your blog is not that invisible! I wish you success with this new enterprise. It gives me the opportunity to keep in touch with my dear colleague Otto, while he is in New York and I go on taking care of our global values activities.

  2. First of all, thanks to everybody for the kind words.
    Rob: Good to see you blogging again, too.
    yave: We’re working on these technical things, but it may take a while…

  3. Just happened to come across your bog. It looks very promising, u got a reliable and team working joint. Congratulations, you all: Björn, Nick, Nicki, Otto, Richard and Tobias. I hope this will be a good start to make easy of joining and embracing the community of International Law knowledge.
    Hint from your members blogging fields: A Reconciliation….
    {The fight for an international Rule of Law is a fight against politics!!??!!}
    “Martti Koskenniemi”
    GOOD Luck (International law Bolger-Tehran-Iran)

  4. Just came over from Opinio Juris. This site looks promising, and I’d like to add it to my feed list. But I don’t seem to be able to do it without setting up Google reader. Can you guys add a way (like the standard RSS or Atom buttons) to subscribe to the feed using other feed readers? Or maybe I’m overlooking some obvious way to do it–I’m not the techiest blogger on the block. Good luck with the blog.

  5. Best wishes for this new venture in international law and politics blogging. I look forward to learning from all of you.

    Patrick (invisible middle-aged student)

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