Saturday, December 13, 2014

Singh: Narrative and Theory: Formalism's Recurrent Return

Sahib Singh (Univ. of Cambridge - Law) has posted Narrative and Theory: Formalism's Recurrent Return (British Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 84, pp. 304-43, 2013). Here's the abstract:
This article critically examines the re-entrenchment of formalism in European international legal thought. It does so by looking at how such a theory (and ideas more generally) may come to seem natural and persuasive within the discipline. Narrative analysis may be used as a critical method to look at how theories persuade, how they are 'sold' and how they produce certain mentalities. Formalism generally (and specifically, source formalism) is broken down as part method, part aesthetics, and part ideology (Section I). The theory is also critiqued for its concern with coherence and determinacy, its own imminent intellectual necessity, and with disciplinary progress. These narrative tactics are exposed as geared towards establishing theoretical dominance within the discipline (and in relation to other theories) (Section II). Specific variants of formalism also tend to eschew any analysis of the multitude of historical conditions and struggles from and for which it emerged. The contemporary European stance emerges against a background of anxiety over disciplinary autonomy and theories that have become dominant in US legal thought. It is a theory of resistance that often slips into essentializing the discipline (Section III). Finally, a specific thesis for formalism in the sources of international law is critiqued as one that cannot work on its own intellectual and theoretical terms. Source formalism (as argued through a Hartian positivist thesis and Wittgenstein) cannot fulfill the relative determinacy it seeks, nor (and more importantly) is such a determinacy required for the legitimacy and normativity of international law. This theory of formalism, whilst operating through ideas that are easily accepted in legal circles, is one that can only sustain itself through intellectual vagueness and contradictions. Five such 'intellectual arrests' are worked through (Section IV). Despite its popularity, there is no necessity for such a theory in contemporary legal thought. Whilst this article is a critique of a specific variant of formalism, it is also a demonstration of how certain dominant theories can constrain and shape our imagination in a multitude of ways. The ploys of marketing an idea remain, after all, predominantly liberal.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Mamiya: Legal Challenges for UN Peacekeepers Protecting Civilians in South Sudan

Ralph Mamiya has posted an ASIL Insight on Legal Challenges for UN Peacekeepers Protecting Civilians in South Sudan.

Pavel: Divided Sovereignty: International Institutions and the Limits of State Authority

Carmen Pavel (Univ. of Arizona - Center for Philosophy and Freedom) has published Divided Sovereignty: International Institutions and the Limits of State Authority (Oxford Univ. Press 2014). Here's the abstract:

Divided Sovereignty explores new institutional solutions to the old question of how to constrain states when they commit severe abuses against their own citizens. The book argues that coercive international institutions can stop these abuses and act as an insurance scheme against the possibility of states failing to fulfill their most basic sovereign responsibilities. It thus challenges the long standing assumption that collective grants of authority from the citizens of a state should be made exclusively for institutions within the borders of that state. Despite worries that international institutions such as the International Criminal Court could undermine domestic democratic control, citizens can divide sovereign authority between state and international institutions consistent with their right of democratic self-governance.

States are imperfect, incomplete political forms. They presuppose a monopoly of coercive power and final jurisdictional authority over their territory. These twin elements of sovereignty and authority can be used by state leaders and political representatives in ways that stray significantly from the interests of citizens. In the most extreme cases, when citizens become inconvenient obstacles in the pursuit of the self-serving ambitions of their leaders, state power turns against them. Genocide, torture, displacement, and rape are often the means of choice by which the inconvenient are made to suffer or vanish.

The book defends universal, principled limits on state authority based on jus cogens norms, a special category of norms in international law that prohibit violations of basic human rights. Against skeptics, it argues that many of the challenges of building an additional layer of institutions can be met if we pay attention to the conditions of institutional success, which require (1) experimentation with different institutional forms, (2) limitations on the scope of authority for coercive international institutions through clear, narrow, well defined mandates, and (3) understanding the limits of existing knowledge on institutional design, which should make us suspicious of proposals for grand institutional schemes, such as global democracy.

New Issue: Journal of East Asia and International Law

The latest issue of the Journal of East Asia and International Law (Vol. 7, no. 1, Spring 2014) is out. Contents include:
  • Issue Focus: Bush Doctrine and New International Legal Order
    • Patricia Goedde, Human Rights of Guantánamo Detainees under International and US Law: Revisiting the US Supreme Court Cases
    • Dong Chen, Who Threatens Whom? The 'Chinese Threat' and the Bush Doctrine
  • Articles
    • Haniff Ahamat & Nasarudin Rahman, Restricting Biofuel Imports in the Name of the Environment: How Does the Application of WTO Rules Affect Developing Countries?
    • Wenwei Guan, International Trade "from Status to Contract" and Back: A Critique of the NME Normal Value Determination and Beyond
    • Eric Yong Joong Lee, Haunting Phantom on the Way to the Korean Reunification? The Chinese People's Volunteer Army in the Korean War and Its Legal Questions
  • Notes & Comments
    • Medwis Al-Rashidi, The Geneva II Peace Talks and the Syrian Conflict: Neglected Legal Elements
    • Yuji Hosaka, Is the so-called 'Rusk Letter' be a Critical Evidence of Japan's Territorial Claim to Dokdo Island?
  • Regional Focus & Controversies: Japan's Currency Manipulation
    • Xin Chen, Japan's Unspoken Currency Manipulation by Monetary Policies: A Chinese Lawyer's Perspective
    • John Riley, The Legality of Japan's Current Monetary Policy under International Law

New Issue: Review of International Studies

The latest issue of the Review of International Studies (Vol. 41, no. 1, January 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • Tom Lundborg & Nick Vaughan-Williams, New Materialisms, discourse analysis, and International Relations: a radical intertextual approach
  • David Chandler, Resilience and the ‘everyday’: beyond the paradox of ‘liberal peace’
  • Suthaharan Nadarajah & David Rampton, The limits of hybridity and the crisis of liberal peace
  • Mandy Turner, Peacebuilding as counterinsurgency in the occupied Palestinian territory
  • Laura Ferracioli, Immigration, self-determination, and the brain drain
  • Ryder McKeown, Legal asymmetries in asymmetric war
  • Vicki Squire, Reshaping critical geopolitics? The materialist challenge
  • Douglas Howland, An alternative mode of international order: The international administrative union in the nineteenth century
  • Gadi Heimann, What does it take to be a great power? The story of France joining the Big Five

Karton: The Arbitral Role in Contractual Interpretation

Joshua D.H. Karton (Queen's Univ. - Law) has posted The Arbitral Role in Contractual Interpretation (Journal of International Dispute Settlement, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:

This article considers the role of arbitrators in adjudicating the merits of international commercial disputes. It focuses, as a case study within this broader topic, on the interpretation of contracts. Interpreting contracts is a highly practical activity, but arbitrators’ approach to interpretation has important implications both for theory and for the success of arbitration as a means for the resolution of international commercial disputes. Are arbitrators more like judges, bound to apply the governing law according to strictly-defined rules, or more like commercially-minded problem-solvers? What approach best serves the needs of commercial parties?

The article challenges a widespread attitude that arbitrators should interpret contracts according to their commercially reasonable meaning, regardless of the interpretative rules provided in the governing law. First, it documents this attitude in the published awards and in the ‘extra-judicial’ pronouncements of arbitrators. Second, it confronts the various arguments that might be made in favour of arbitrators departing from the governing law. Finally, it sets out a suggested approach for determining the appropriate interpretive method in any given case.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Franck & O'Connor: Foreign Investments and the Market for Law

Susan D. Franck (Washington and Lee Univ. - Law) & Erin A. O'Hara O'Connor (Vanderbilt Univ. - Law) have posted Foreign Investments and the Market for Law (University of Illinois Law Review, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
In this Article, Professors O'Hara O'Connor and Franck adapt and extend Larry Ribstein's positive framework for analyzing the role of jurisdictional competition in the law market. Specifically, the authors provide an institutional framework focused on interest group representation that can be used to balance the tensions underlying foreign investment law, including the desire to compete to attract investments and countervailing preferences to retain domestic policy-making discretion. The framework has implications for the respective roles of BITs and investment contracts as well as the inclusion and interpretation of various foreign investment provisions.

New Issue: Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy

The latest issue of the Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy (Vol. 17, no. 4, 2014) is out. Contents include:
  • Special Issue: African Wildlife Law
    • J. Manyitabot Takang, From Algiers to Maputo: The Role of the African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in the Harmonization of Conservation Policy in Africa
    • Fidelis Tanyi Orock, Protected Areas, Ecotourism, and Livelihood Sustenance: Conflicting Triological Paradigm in the Ejagham Forest Reserve (Forest Management Unit 11-005), Cameroon
    • Emmanuel Sunjo Tata & Cornelius M. Lambi, Challenges and Opportunities of the Mount Cameroon Forest Region as a National Park
    • Jude Ndzifon Kimengsi, Threats to Ecotourism Development and Forest Conservation in the Lake Barombi Mbo Area (LBMA) of Cameroon
    • Ethan Arthur, Poaching Cultural Property: Invoking Cultural Property Law to Protect Elephants
  • Regular Article
    • Margi Prideaux, Wildlife NGOs and the CMS Family: Untapped Potential for Collaborative Governance

Maia, Kolb, & Scalia: La protection des prisonniers de guerre en droit international humanitaire

Catherine Maia (Universidade Lusófona do Porto - Law), Robert Kolb (Université de Genève - Law), & Damien Scalia (Université Catholique de Louvain) have published La protection des prisonniers de guerre en droit international humanitaire (Bruylant 2014). Here's the abstract:

Le régime juridique des prisonniers de guerre est le fruit d’une longue évolution du droit international coutumier et conventionnel. Il est constitué aujourd’hui, pour l’essentiel, de la IIIe Convention de Genève relative au traitement des prisonniers de guerre, du 12 août 1949. Sur certains points, cette Convention a été complétée par le Protocole additionnel relatif à la protection des victimes des conflits armés internationaux, du 8 juin 1977. Ce régime juridique, à l’instar de l’ensemble du droit des conflits armés, n’est toutefois pas une construction figée dans le temps. Pour être véritablement efficace, il doit être adapté en fonction des transformations de la réalité et des divers développements du droit international.

Sur la base d’une étude empirique, et de l’analyse des régimes pertinents de protection de la personne humaine, la présente étude s’est précisément donné pour objectif d’évaluer le régime juridique des prisonniers de guerre à la lumière des principaux conflits armés contemporains qui ont éclaté depuis le début des années 1950. Ainsi, c’est en suivant le cours de l’existence du prisonnier de guerre – depuis la détermination de son statut, en passant par sa protection une fois capturé, puis sa libération et son rapatriement – que l’ouvrage invite le lecteur à découvrir, norme par norme, comment le droit en vigueur a été appliqué et à quelles éventuelles difficultés il s’est heurté sur le terrain.

New Issue: Journal of Human Rights

The latest issue of the Journal of Human Rights (Vol. 13, no. 4, 2014) is out. Contents include:
  • Ludvig Beckman, The Right to Democracy and the Human Right to Vote: The Instrumental Argument Rejected
  • Rob Clark, A Tale of Two Trends: Democracy and Human Rights, 1981–2010
  • Mathew Davies, States of Compliance?: Global Human Rights Treaties and ASEAN Member States
  • Alejandro Anaya Muñoz, Communicative Interaction Between Mexico and Its International Critics Around the Issue of Military Jurisdiction: “Rhetorical Action” or “Truth Seeking Arguing”?
  • Arelí Valencia, Human Rights Trade-Offs in a Context of “Systemic Lack of Freedom”: The Case of the Smelter Town of La Oroya, Peru
  • Annabelle Mooney, “Corporeal Mentality”: The Book of Blood, Universal Human Rights, and the Body
  • Victor O. Ayeni, Ombudsmen as Human Rights Institutions
  • Rebecca Sanders, Legal Frontiers: Targeted Killing at the Borders of War

Conference: Autonomie und Selbstbestimmung in Europa und im internationalen Vergleich

On January 14, 2015, the University of Innsbruck will host a conference on "Autonomie und Selbstbestimmung in Europa und im internationalen Vergleich / Autonomy and Self-determination in Europe and in Global Perspective." The program is here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

d'Argent, Bonafè, & Combacau: Les limites du droit international - Essais en l’honneur de Joe Verhoeven

Pierre d'Argent (Université catholique de Louvain - Law), Beatrice Bonafè (Università di Roma La Sapienza - Political Science), & Jean Combacau (Université Panthéan-Assas (Paris II) - Law) have published Les limites du droit international - Essais en l’honneur de Joe Verhoeven / The limits of international law - Essays in honour of Joe Verhoeven (Bruylant 2014). Contents include:
  • Gérard Cahin, Vie privée de l’État et pouvoir constituant.
  • Pierre-Marie Dupuy, Considérations élémentaires sur la « vie privée » des États
  • Mathias Forteau, Le droit international privé, reflet des limites (mais aussi de la nature) du droit international public
  • Jan Klabbers, From Sources Doctrine to Responsibility? Reflections on the Private Lives of States
  • François Rigaux, La vie privée des États : un modèle à la recherche de lui-même
  • Niki Aloupi, Vie privée, discrétion et complaisance : bases et limites d’une réflexion sur les limites du droit international
  • Gilles Cottereau, La souveraineté au risque de l’exclusivité
  • Giorgio Gaja, La compétence des États dans l’examen des demandes d’asile
  • Philippe Gautier, L’exécution en droit interne des décisions de juridictions internationales : un domaine réservé ?
  • Pierre Klein, Le droit international contemporain a-t-il étendu l’interdiction du recours à la force aux situations internes aux États ?
  • Evelyne Lagrange, L’État et les puissances privées. Digressions sur la compétence plénière de l’État et « l’autonomie du mouvement sportif »
  • Ioannis Prezas, Les obligations internationales de publicité face à l’exception de sécurité nationale : à la recherche d’une conciliation dans le droit de l’environnement
  • Jean-Michel Arrighi, The “democracy clause” in the Americas
  • Pierre d’Argent, Jusqu’où y a-t-il du droit international ? Considérations sur le droit dérivé des organisations internationales et sur le droit de l’Union européenne
  • Jean d’Aspremont, The International Law of Statehood: Craftsmanship for the Elucidation and Regulation of Birth and Death in the International Society
  • Frédéric Dopagne, Les contre-mesures au sein du système juridique de l’Union européenne
  • Ahmed Mahiou, L’Algérie et le partenariat régional.
  • Alain Pellet & Alina Miron, « Nationalisation » du droit international et particularismes constitutionnels français
  • Raymond Ranjeva, L’engagement international : nouvelles dimensions
  • Emmanuel Roucounas, Explications sur les limites différenciées et en mouvement entre le droit international et le droit interne
  • Jean Salmon, Reconnaissance des situations et relations diplomatiques (Belgique-France 1848-1852)
  • Béatrice I. Bonafé, Le lien de connexité : dépassement et sauvegarde de la nature « privée » des différends devant la Cour internationale de justice
  • Philippe Couvreur, Notes sur la Cour internationale de justice et la volonté des États
  • Enzo Cannizzaro, Margin of Appreciation and Reasonableness in the ICJ’s Decision in the Whaling Case
  • Andrea Giardina, Droit international et droit interne dans le contentieux international des investissements
  • Marcelo Kohen, “Considerations about What Is Common”: The ICJ and Specialised Bodies
  • Djamchid Momtaz, L’attachement de la Cour internationale de justice au consensualisme judiciaire est-il sans faille ?
  • Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos, Le dialogue des juges nationaux et européens : la nouvelle fonction consultative de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme
  • Dean Spielmann, Le fait, le juge et la connaissance : aux confins de la compétence interprétative de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme
  • Santiago Torres Bernárdez, Some questions of “jurisdiction” and “competence” of arbitral tribunals in treaty-based investors-host States disputes and the 2013 Tokyo Resolution of the Institut de droit international

Symposium: This is Not a Drill: Confronting Legal Issues in the Wake of International Disasters

On February 13, 2015, the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law will host a symposium on "This is Not a Drill: Confronting Legal Issues in the Wake of International Disasters." The program is here. Here's the idea:
Recent international disasters, both environmental and humanitarian, have resulted in trails of destruction and destitution, as well as an uncertain legal landscape. In response to this situation, the International Law Commission (ILC) has completed a draft report addressing the protection of persons when disasters occur. The Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law’s 2015 Symposium, This is Not a Drill: Confronting Legal Issues in the Wake of International Disasters, will address current international disaster response topics. The event will focus on an in-depth review of the ILC draft. Two additional panels will address environmental effects and disaster assistance in the wake of various types of international disasters.

Workshop: ASIL IO Interest Group Works-in-Progress Workshop

This Friday, December 12, 2014, the International Organizations Interest Group of the American Society of International Law will hold its annual works-in-progress workshop at Columbia Law School. The following papers will be presented:
  • Audrey Comstock (Cornell Univ.), "Domestic Legal Culture and Treaty Action Behavior: A Look at Human Rights Treaties"
  • Joseph F.C. DiMento (Univ. of California, Irvine), "Environmental Governance of the Arctic: Law, Effect, Now Implementation"
  • MJ Durkee (Univ. of Washington), "The Business of Treaties"
  • Greg Fox (Wayne State Univ.) and Kristen Boon (Seton Hall Univ.), "The Multilateralization of Armed Conflict and its Legal Consequences"
  • Ben Heath (New York Univ.), "The Fragmented Organization: The Logic of Contract in the Governance of Migration"
  • Alberto Alvarez Jimenez (Te Piringa Faculty of Law), "The Post 9/11 Practices of the UN Security Council Related to the Right to Self-Defense Against Non-State Actors: Has Anything Changed After Resolutions 1368 and 1373 (2001)?"
  • Andrew Woods (Univ. of Kentucky), "Inexpressive International Agreements"
  • David Zaring (Univ. of Pennsylvania - Wharton School), "A Paradigm of Global Financial Regulation."

Call for Papers: Making International Custom More Tangible

The McCoubrey Centre for International Law at the University of Hull Law School has issued a call for papers for its second conference for research students and early career researchers, which will take place July 2-3, 2015. The topic is "Making International Custom More Tangible." Here's the call:

University of Hull

Law School


2nd Conference for Research Students and Early Career Researchers:

‘Making International Custom More Tangible’

2 & 3 July 2015

Keynote Speaker:

Sir Michael Wood

Special Rapporteur of the International Law Commission on the

Formation and Evidence of Customary International Law

The McCoubrey Centre for International Law is hosting its second conference for research students and early career scholars. The conference will address questions surrounding the enduring, and yet topical issue of customary international law.

The role and function of custom has provided fertile ground for academic debate for as long as States have existed – and for even longer if one considers that this is a concept inherent in all societies. Every student of international law must come quickly to terms with the complexities of how customary international law is made, understand the meaning and significance of authoritative decisions of international tribunals, and become familiar with the vast and varied literature on the subject. Equally, commentators and practitioners must become adept at turning such understanding to their advantage when applying it to concrete questions about the substance of international law. Although custom is absolutely necessary, it remains a problematic source of international law, and one which offers little legal certainty.

In 2012, the International Law Commission placed the topic of ‘Formation and Evidence of Customary International Law’ on its agenda, with the aim of addressing the ‘methodological question of the identification of existence and content of the rules of customary international law’. In 2014, the ILC examined 11 draft conclusions produced by its Special Rapporteur, Sir Michael Wood. Whilst there was general agreement about the two-element approach to custom, a number of other important questions were raised for consideration:

  • How should practice from different parts of the world be treated?
  • How much reliance should be placed upon the jurisprudence of the ICJ?
  • When a rule of custom is disputed, who has the burden of proof?
  • What meaning attaches to the constituent elements of custom?
  • What role do international organisations play in the process?
  • What does opinio juris mean?
  • How do we account for ‘deviant’ State practice?

Beyond these specific questions, more general and, perhaps, fundamental questions about the function of customary international law persist. For example, what is the appropriate methodology for the study and identification of custom? Is it truly a source of positive international law? How does it relate to and/or interact with other sources of international law? From where does the normative power of custom stem? Is the theory of persistent objection a valid international law rule – and, if so, what is its practical effect? What does sive necessitatis mean with regard to opinio juris? What are the roles of judges and courts/tribunals in custom making? Is regional custom a source of fragmentation in the international legal order? Is the process of custom-making common to all regimes of international law? In what way do human rights have an impact on the development of custom? Is custom one of the ingredients of the constitutionalisation of international law? Does custom still exert a universalising force? To what extent can custom generate the carefully calibrated or differentiated rules of law required by the international community? Can rules of custom originating in behavioural patterns secure compliance during their formative (and summative) stages? How can other disciplines contribute to our understanding of custom in international law?

The principal aims of the McCoubrey Centre Conference are to promote wider debate on the issues being addressed by the ILC, to stimulate research on the topic by younger academics, and to contribute to a wider understanding of the foundations and function of customary international law in the 21st century.

In light of the above, the conference themes are:

  • What role can and should custom play in the making of international law?
  • The normative foundations of custom (i.e. what makes custom law)
  • Evidential requirements for customary international law (e.g. constituent elements, context, and burden of proof)
  • The role of national and international courts in the creation of customary rules
  • The role of non-State actors in the development of customary international law
  • Regional variations in the process/content of customary international law
  • Variations in the ‘method’ of customary international law in different fields/regimes of international law
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to custom

In addition to considering these themes, proposals are welcomed on other topics, including: the scope of the ILC’s programme; the changing function of custom; the relationship between custom and other sources of international law, and the place of custom in the theories of international law.

All panels will be chaired by leading academics, who will be invited to comment on the papers.


Interested participants should provide an abstract of no more than 500 words by 15 February 2015. Abstracts shall be uploaded on the conference’s webpage at []. If you wish to discuss topics or ideas informally please contact Dr. Vassilis P. Tzevelekos at [].

Speakers will be informed of acceptance of their papers by 6 March 2015, and will be expected to submit either a full or outline paper by 1 June. Presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes in duration.

Speakers will be required to pay a £20 conference participation fee, and will also be required to meet the cost of travel and accommodation.

Selected papers will appear in a volume edited by the McCoubrey Centre for International Law.


Abstract submission by: 15 February 2015

Selection of papers by: 6 March 2015

Submission of conference papers by: 1 June 2015

Organising Committee:

Professor Richard Barnes, Professor Lindsay Moir, Dr. Vassilis P. Tzevelekos, Dr Carmino Massarella, Ms Mercedes Rosello.

2015 Lauterpacht Memorial Lectures

On January 19-21, 2015, Christopher Greenwood (Judge, International Court of Justice) will deliver the 2015 Sir Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lectures at the University of Cambridge. The topic of the lectures is "Aspects of Sovereign Immunity."

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Special Issue: The International Criminal Court – A Site of Gender Justice

The latest issue of the International Feminist Journal of Politics (Vol. 16, no. 4, 2014) focuses on "The International Criminal Court – A Site of Gender Justice." Contents include:
  • Special Issue: The International Criminal Court – A Site of Gender Justice
    • Louise Chappell & Andrea Durbach, Introduction: The International Criminal Court: A Site of Gender Justice?
    • Fatou Bensouda, Foreword: Gender Justice and the ICC: Progress and Reflections
    • Andrea Durbach & Louise Chappell, Leaving Behind the Age of Impunity: Victims of Gender Violence and the Promise of Reparations
    • Valerie Oosterveld, Constructive Ambiguity and the Meaning of “Gender” for the International Criminal Court
    • Jonneke Koomen, Language Work at International Criminal Courts
    • Rosemary Grey, Sexual Violence against Child Soldiers: The Limits and Potential of International Criminal Law
    • Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Gendered Harms and their Interface with International Criminal Law: Norms, Challenges and Domestication
    • Louise Chappell, Andrea Durbach & Judge Elizabeth Odio Benito, Judge Odio Benito: A View of Gender Justice From the Bench
    • Louise Chappell & Brigid Inder, Advocating for International Gender Justice: A Conversation with Brigid Inder
    • Sari Kouvo, Review Essay: Feminism, Gender and International (Criminal) Law: From Asking the “Woman Question” in Law to Moving Beyond Law

Ikenberry: Power, Order, and Change in World Politics

G. John Ikenberry (Princeton Univ. - Politics and Woodrow Wilson School) has published Power, Order, and Change in World Politics (Cambridge Univ. Press 2014). Contents include:
  • G. John Ikenberry, Introduction
  • Charles A. Kupchan, Unpacking hegemony: the social foundations of hierarchical order
  • David A. Lake, Dominance and subordination in world politics: authority, liberalism, and stability in the modern international order
  • G. John Ikenberry, The logic of order: Westphalia, liberalism, and the evolution of international order in the modern era
  • William C. Wohlforth, Hegemonic decline and hegemonic war revisited
  • Jonathan Kirshner, Gilpin approaches War and Change: a classical realist in structural drag
  • Michael Mastanduno, Order and change in world politics: the financial crisis and the breakdown of the US-China grand bargain
  • Daniel Deudney, Hegemony, nuclear weapons, and liberal hegemony
  • Barry Buzan, Brilliant but now wrong: a sociological and historical sociological assessment of Gilpin's War and Change in World Politics
  • John A. Hall, Nations, states, and empires

Ramcharan: International Peace Conferences

Bertrand G. Ramcharan has published International Peace Conferences (Brill | Nijhoff 2014). Here's the abstract:
This book has emerged out of the author's experience as Director of an innovative peacemaking, peacekeeping and humanitarian initiative, the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia, between 1992 and 1996. What was striking about this conference was the experiment of two full-time Co-Chairmen, one from the United Nations and one from the European Union, who laboured tirelessly for peace in different parts of the former Yugoslavia for three and a half years. The strategies and organization of the conference had to be pieced together from the start by the Co-Chairmen and their colleagues; only in retrospect could the question whether there might have been experiences of international peace conferences that might have been useful at the beginning of this process be reviewed. This research is contained in Part One of this book, which offers a review of the role of international peace conferences in history. Part Two contains a case study of the strategies and experiences of the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia.

Hobér & Sussman: Cross-Examination in International Arbitration

Kaj I Hobér (Mannheimer Swartling) & Howard S. Sussman (Wrobel Schatz & Fox LLP) have published Cross-Examination in International Arbitration (Oxford Univ. Press 2014). Here's the abstract:

Opportunities to see expert cross-examinations are often infrequent in international arbitration and the occasions to sharpen these skills for many are rare. This book is both an invaluable teaching tool as well as a general guide to effective cross-examination in international arbitration. Based on extensive experience and insight from the authors and aided by practical examples, it provides a thoroughly illustrated analysis of how essential cross-examination techniques can best be adapted to the arbitral format. Concise and well organised, it leads the reader through the different cross-examination techniques in an accessible point by point structure, presenting readers with a clear and authoritative introduction on how best to conduct a cross-examination or a quick-reference for more experienced practitioners.

An international arbitration hearing is very different from a trial in a court and any practitioner appearing as counsel, whether common or civil law lawyers, need to know what will happen and how it will differ in order to adapt their conduct. Hober and Sussman explore the challenges practitioners face when conducting a cross-examination in such an environment and provide practical learning aids to help overcome them. Cross Examination in International Arbitration addresses the common issues that can occur in cross-examination in arbitrations such as adjusting the level of English to consider the competency of the panel's least competent member or how to cross-examine a witness with only the use of a written statement rather than by means of oral direct testimony. By highlighting the common challenges which might arise, the authors present a guide which will benefit those practicing or looking to practice in this field.

Fakhri: Sugar and the Making of International Trade Law

Michael Fakhri (Univ. of Oregon - Law) has published Sugar and the Making of International Trade Law (Cambridge Univ. Press 2014). Here's the abstract:
This book traces the changing meanings of free trade over the past century through three sugar treaties and their concomitant institutions. The 1902 Brussels Convention is an example of how free trade buttressed the British Empire. The 1937 International Sugar Agreement is a story of how a group of Cubans renegotiated their state's colonial relationship with the US through free trade doctrine and the League of Nations. And the study of the 1977 International Sugar Agreement maps the world of international trade law through a plethora of institutions such as the ITO, UNCTAD, GATT and international commodity agreements – all against the backdrop of competing Third World agendas. Through a legal study of free trade ideas, interests and institutions, this book highlights how the line between the state and market, domestic and international, and public and private is always a matter of contest.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Shan & Su: China and International Investment Law: Twenty Years of ICSID Membership

Wenhua Shan (Xi'an Jiaotong Univ. - Law) & Jinyuan Su (Xi'an Jiaotong Univ. - Law) have published China and International Investment Law: Twenty Years of ICSID Membership (Brill | Nijhoff 2014). Contents include:
  • Meg Kinnear, ICSID and International Investment Treaty Arbitration: Progress and Prospects
  • M Sornarajah, The Past, Present and Future of the International Law on Foreign Investment
  • Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann, Judicial Administration of Justice in Multilevel Commercial, Trade and Investment Adjudication?
  • Chester Brown, The Development by States of Model Bilateral Investment Treaties
  • Hamamoto Shotaro, Protection of the Investor’s Legitimate Expectations: Intersection of a treaty obligation and a general principle of law
  • Yongjie Li, Factors to be Considered for China’s Future Investment Treaties
  • Norah Gallagher, China’s BIT’s and Arbitration Practice: Progress and Problems
  • Martin Endicott, China and International Investment Law: An Evolving Relationship
  • Nils Eliasson, The Chinese Investment Treaty Programme, Jurisdictional Challenges and Investment Planning: The Example of Chinese Outbound Investments in the Natural Resources Sector
  • Eric Pekar, The Chinese Investment Regime and the US-China BIT Negotiations
  • Marc Bungenberg & Catharine Titi, The Evolution of EU Investment Law and Future of EU-China Investment Relations
  • Leon E Trakman, Instituting Investment Claims under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
  • Mark Feldman, Joint Interpretations under a Divided TPP Investment Chapter

New Additions to the UN Audiovisual Library of International Law

Three new lectures have been added to the UN Audiovisual Library of International Law. They were given by Judge Kenneth Keith on “The International Court of Justice - The Reflections of One Judge as He Leaves Office” and “Interpreting in International Courts and Tribunals” and by Antonios Tzanakopoulos on “The United Nations Security Council Sanctions.”

Shackelford: Managing Cyber Attacks in International Law, Business, and Relations: In Search of Cyber Peace

Scott J. Shackelford (Indiana Univ. - Business) has published Managing Cyber Attacks in International Law, Business, and Relations: In Search of Cyber Peace (Cambridge Univ. Press 2014). Here's the abstract:
This book presents a framework to reconceptualize internet governance and better manage cyber attacks. It examines the potential of polycentric regulation to increase accountability through bottom-up action. It also provides a synthesis of the current state of cybersecurity research, bringing features of cyber attacks to light and comparing and contrasting the threat to all relevant stakeholders. Throughout the book, cybersecurity is treated holistically, covering issues in law, science, economics and politics. This interdisciplinary approach is an exemplar of how strategies from different disciplines as well as the private and public sectors may cross-pollinate to enhance cybersecurity. Case studies and examples illustrate what is at stake and identify best practices. The book discusses technical issues of Internet governance and cybersecurity while presenting the material in an informal, straightforward manner. The book is designed to inform readers about the interplay of Internet governance and cybersecurity and the potential of polycentric regulation to help foster cyber peace.

New Issue: International Relations

The latest issue of International Relations (Vol. 28, no. 4, December 2014) is out. Contents include:
  • Richard Ned Lebow, What can International Relations Theory learn from the origins of World War I?
  • Nazya Fiaz, Manufacturing a ‘Muted Public Reaction’: Pakistani political discourse in the wake of 9/11
  • Adrian Gallagher, What constitutes a ‘Manifest Failing’? Ambiguous and inconsistent terminology and the Responsibility to Protect
  • Forum: The expansion of international society after 30 years: Views from the European periphery
    • Filip Ejdus, Introduction
    • Filip Ejdus, Entry into international society: Central and South East European experiences
    • Alexandra Gheciu, Remembering the Roman past, building a European future
    • Jozef Bátora, Lost in translatio imperii: Slovakia’s layered entry into international society
    • Filip Ejdus, The long shadow of Byzantium over Serbia’s entry into international society
    • Einar Wigen, Go West! Turkey’s entry into international society

Call for Papers: Taming Power in Times of Globalization: What Role for Human Rights?

A call for papers has been issued for a conference on "Taming Power in Times of Globalization: What Role for Human Rights?," to take place November 30-December 1, 2015, at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland Galway. Here's the call:

Call for Papers


Taming Power in Times of Globalization:

What Role for Human Rights?

Monday, 30 November 2015, and Tuesday, 01 December 2015.

Irish Centre for Human Rights

National University of Ireland Galway

Galway, Ireland

The ways power is exercised today at the global level seems to be qualitatively different, demanding new responses from international law and other relvant disciplines. In particular, it seems that today the exercise of power at the global level is less controllable, less subject to restraints and checks than some decades ago. Global governance, international or global constitutionalism, legal pluralism are terms indicating some of the ways developed in the scholarship to comprehend, analyse and respond to challenges posed by the contemporary forms of exercise of power at the global level.

Human rights are featured prominently in the Western thought as hallmarks of protection of individuals against the arbitrary exercise of power.

Human rights form today a core of any Western constitutional order. However, the role of international human rights as mechanisms for controlling exercise of power at the global level is articulated only rudimentarily. The conference aims at providing a forum for discussion about the place of human rights in current discourses on globalization. Instead of assuming that human rights are a proof of the possibility to control power at the global level, the conference aims at examining this premise from a variety of perspectives.

The following are some of the questions the organizers would like to see addressed.

  • What human rights are part of international constitutional order?
  • How legal pluralism/global governance/various theories of constitutionalism conceive the role of human rights as a mechanism for limiting exercise of power at the global level?
  • What are the consequences of different answers?
  • How precisely human rights as guarantees against arbitrary exercise of power function within different visions?
  • Are there any alternatives available to the human rights language?
  • Can other mechanism of control over arbitrary exercise of power at the international/global level be imagined?

Contributions can address these and other related issues from a variety of perspectives, both theoretical and empirical. Critical and interdisciplinary approaches are particularly encouraged. Contributions examining relavant issues from a historical perspective, or integrating experience of non western legal traditions are also welcome.

Contributions will be selected following a peer-review process. The selection will be based on the following criteria: relevance to the conference theme, originality, overall coherence of selected papers with a view of producing engaging discussion. The organizers have publication plans for the presented papers. The precise format of publication will be discussed during the conference. Therefore, all selected contributions must be original and not published elsewhere. All presenters will be required to submit full papers in advance.

Accommodation for presenters will be provided. There are limited funds available to cover travel expenses. Please indicate while applying whether you would like to be considered for reimboursment of travel expenses and indicate if possible the approximate amount.

Submission guidelines:

Abstracts should be no more than 500 words long; contain the name, institutional affiliation and contact details of the author; indicate a title of the presentation, questions to be addressed, methodology and overal approach. Abstracts should be sent by 15 March 2015 in Word format to Ekaterina Yahyaoui and Zoi Aliozi

For inqueries, please contact Dr Zoi Aliozi at

Important dates:

Abstract submission: 15 March 2015

Communication of decisions: 10 April 2015

Submission of draft papers: 1 November 2015


The conference is part of the project led by Dr Ekaterina Yahyaoui Krivenko entitled ‘International Protection of Human Rights as a Constitutional Issue: Problems, Prospects and Promises’ finacially supported by the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the EU’s 7th Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under REA grant agreement No PCIG13-GA-2013-618183


Nouwen & Werner: Monopolizing Global Justice: International Criminal Law as Challenge to Human Diversity

Sarah Nouwen (Univ. of Cambridge - Law) & Wouter Werner (VU Univ. Amsterdam - Law) have posted Monopolizing Global Justice: International Criminal Law as Challenge to Human Diversity (Journal of International Criminal Justice, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
Over the past two decades, international criminal law has been increasingly institutionalized and has become one of the dominant frames for defining issues of justice and conflict resolution. Indeed, international criminal law is often presented as the road towards global justice. But the rise of international criminal law and its equation with global justice come with a profound risk: alternative conceptions of justice can be marginalized. Based on field work in Uganda and Sudan, we present five examples of alternative conceptions of justice that in fact have been side-lined: the restoration of relationships, putting an end to on-going violence, redistribution, non-criminal law forms of punishment and equality. However, international criminal law’s monopolization of discourses of justice threatens not only alternative conceptions of justice, but also international criminal law itself. It frustrates one of its main aims: the protection of diversity.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sobel-Read: Global Value Chains: A Framework for Analysis

Kevin B. Sobel-Read (Univ. of Newcastle - Law) has posted Global Value Chains: A Framework for Analysis (Transnational Legal Theory, Vol. 5, no. 3, 2014). Here's the abstract:

The paradigm of the world political economy has shifted dramatically over the past twenty years. Legal scholarship, however, lags significantly behind. Existing legal scholarship is calibrated to an outdated model that suggests that multinational corporations – either individually or through one-to-one supplier relationships – create, manufacture, and sell a given product. But in today’s world, in what have been termed “global value chains,” the research, design, production, and retail of most products take place through coordinated chain components that stretch systemically across multiple – from a few to a few thousand – firms. This reconfiguration of the global political economy poses challenges to conventional legal disciplinary boundaries, from Contract Law to Corporate Law to International Law as well as to, among others, Antitrust Law and Intellectual Property Law: none is able to explain or guide these complex new relationships inherent in contemporary global production.

This article is the first to integrate into U.S. legal scholarship the fundamental insights of the robust and multidisciplinary body of academic literature on global value chains. Through these insights, the article stakes new ground that is essential for advancing legal scholarship, including: (1) uncovering novel forms of legal relationships that are emerging between firms in global value chains; (2) showing how Contract Law and Corporate Law are necessarily mutually constitutive in global value chain systems; (3) revealing how the linkages – subject to different legal regimes – within global value chains have become the primary conduit for a multitude of commercially critical transfers, encompassing not only capital but also, importantly, knowledge and technology, including intellectual property; and (4) demonstrating the need to reframe existing legal debates which have remained focused on narrower questions regarding transnational corporate conduct and as such have been limited to determining, for instance, the types of rules that affect corporate behavior (e.g., public regulation versus private governance) or the most pertinent location of the relevant rule-maker and/or dispute-resolver (i.e., jurisdictional questions of domestic law versus international law).

Beginning with global value chains as the unit of analysis and drawing on each of the many applicable legal disciplines as appropriate, this article is seminal in setting forth the ongoing paradigm shifts taking place in the global political economy together with their relevant legal phenomena; at the same time, it is significant for opening opportunities for legal scholars to gauge and engage in normative interventions across multiple legal disciplines impacting both national and international law.

Hilpold: The Responsibility to Protect (R2P): A New Paradigm of International Law?

Peter Hilpold (Univ. of Innsbruck - Law) has published The Responsibility to Protect (R2P): A New Paradigm of International Law? (Brill | Nijhoff 2014). Contents include:
  • Peter Hilpold, From Humanitarian Intervention to the Responsibility to Protect
  • Alex J. Bellamy, The Responsibility to Protect: A Wide or Narrow Conception?
  • Peter Hilpold, R2P and Humanitarian Intervention in a Historical Perspective 
  • Krista Nakavukaren Schefer & Thomas Cottier, Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and the Emerging Principle of Common Concern 
  • Peter-Tobias Stoll, The Responsibility to Protect: One-time Incentive or Lasting Advancement for International law? 
  • Hans-Georg Dederer, ‘Responsibilty to Protect’ and ‘Functional Sovereignty’
  • Karin Oellers-Frahm, Responsibility to Protect: Any New Obligations for the Security Council and Its Members?
  • Enzo Cannizzaro, Responsibility to Protect and the Competence of the un Organs 
  • Andrea Gattini, Responsibility to Protect and the Responsibility of International Organizations 
  • Stefan Kadelbach, The European Union’s Responsibility to Protect
  • Martina Caroni & Corinna Seiberth, From Gender-Blind to Gender-Sensitive: The Relevance of the UN Women, Peace, and Security Agenda for Operationalizing Responsibility to Protect
  • Fernand de Varennes, R2P and the Protection of Minorities
  • Manfred Nowak, Karolina Miriam Januszewski &Jane Alice Hofbauer, R2P and the Prohibition of Torture 
  • Hans-Joachim Heintze, Responsibility to Protect and the Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters 
  • Federico Lenzerini, R2P and the ‘Protection’ of Indigenous Peoples
  • Lotta Viikari, Responsibility to Protect and the Environmental Considerations A Fundamental Mismatch or the Way Forward?
  • Oliver Diggelmann, Ethical Dilemmas Connected with the “Responsibility to Protect”
  • Carlo Focarelli, The Responsibility to Protect in the Global System