Blind Spots in International Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic


This editorial aims to foster debate on the possible roles of implicit social cognition in international law. The editorial is in part inspired by a book entitled Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, written by Banaji and Greenwald, researchers of social psychology. According to them, a large set of implicit biases reside in our minds, which may influence our behaviour towards ourselves and others. It is safe to argue that international judges, arbitrators, diplomats, domestic officials who apply international law, and international legal scholars are not immune from implicit bias. Within international legal scholarship, some relevant experiments have already been conducted in unveiling decision makers’ intuitive and automatic thinking. While implicit bias is hard to identify and remedy, this editorial encourages international legal practitioners and scholars to diversify their own experiences and engage in the imagination of counter-stereotypes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-218
Number of pages10
JournalLeiden Journal of International Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • international law
  • social psychology
  • blid spots


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