ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

vrijdag 19 februari 2021

BOOK: Ingo VENZKE & Kevin JON HELLER (eds.), Contingency in International Law. On the Possibility of Different Legal Histories (Oxford: OUP, 2020), 560 p. ISBN 9780192898036, USD 125


(image source: OUP)

This book poses a question that is deceptive in its simplicity: could international law have been otherwise? Today, there is hardly a serious account left that would consider the path of international law to be necessary, and that would refute the possibility of a different law altogether. But behind every possibility of the past stands a reason why the law developed as it did. Only with a keen sense of why things turned out the way they did is it possible to argue about how the law could plausibly have turned out differently. The search for contingency in international law is often motivated, as it is in this volume, by a refusal to resign to the present state of affairs. By recovering past possibilities, this volume aims to inform projects of transformative legal change for the future. The book situates that search for contingency theoretically and carries it into practice across many fields, with chapters discussing human rights and armed conflict, migrants and refugees, the sea and natural resources, foreign investments and trade. In doing so, it shows how politically charged questions about contingency have always been.

Table of contents:

1. Contingency Situated, Ingo Venzke
A. Enacted Structures and Structured Actors
2. On Dead Circuits and Non-Events, Fleur Johns
3. Contingency in International Legal History: Why Now?, Genevieve Painter
4. The Necessity of Contingency: Method and Marxism in International Law, Umut Özsu
5. The Realist and the Visionary: Property, Sovereignty, and the Problem of Social Change, Justin Desautels-Stein
6. An Enlarged Sense of Possibility for International Law: Seeking Change by Doing History, Janne Nijman
B. Situated Perspectives and Possibilities
7. Contingencies in International Legal Histories: Origins and Observers, Filipe dos Reis
8. Historical Base and Legal Superstructure: Reading Contingency and Necessity in the Tadic Challenge, Michele Tedeschini
9. Subverting Eurocentric Epistemology: The Value of Nonsense When Designing Counterfactuals, Mohsen al Attar
10. The Time of Contingency in International Law, Geoff Gordon
A. Migrants and Refugees
11. The Contingency of International Migration Law, Frédéric Mégret
12. Contingent Movements? Differential Decolonisations of International Refugee and Migration Law and Governance, Christopher Szabla
B. Sea and Resources
13. What if the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea had Entered into Force Unamended: Business as Usual or Dystopia?, Alex Oude Elferink
14. What if Arvid Pardo had not made his famous speech? (False) Contingency in the Making of the Law of the Sea, Surabhi Ranganathan
15. Contingent Economic Ordering: Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources and International Commodity Agreements, Lucas Lixinski and Mats Ingulstad
C. Human Rights
16. Rights for Daydreaming: International Human Rights Law Thought Otherwise, Kathryn McNeilly
17. Who Turned Multinational Corporations into Bearers of Human Rights? On the Creation of Corporate 'Human' Rights in International Law, Silvia Steininger and Jochen von Bernstorff
18. Austerity: Why Human Rights Came Late and Helped Little, Matthias Goldmann
D. Armed Conflict
19. Contingencies of Context: Contested Legacies of the Algerian Revolution in the 1977 Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, Emma Stone Mackinnon
20. Unveiling Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions: Contingency, Necessity and Possibility in International Humanitarian Law, Bianca Maganza
21. The Narrative Contingency of International Humanitarian Law: Crimes against Humanity in Cixin Liu's Post-Humanist Universe, Amanda Alexander
22. Why Did Starvation Not Become the Paradigmatic War Crime in International Law?, Nicholas Mulder and Boyd van Dijk
E. Foreign Investments
23. The Law of State Responsibility and the Persistence of Investment Protection, Kathryn Greenman
24. Barcelona Traction Re-Imagined: The ICJ as a World Court for Foreign Investment Cases?, Saïda El Boudouhi
25. From a Fortuitous Transplant to a Fundamental Principle of Law? The Doctrine of Legitimate Expectations and the Possibilities of a Different Law, Josef Ostranský
F. The New International Economic Order
26. Bandung's Fate, Kevin Crow
27. 'Poisonous Flowers on the Dust-heap of a Dying Capitalism': The United Nations Code of Conduct on Transnational Corporations, Contingency and Failure in International Law, Michelle Staggs Kelsall
G. Eruptions
28. Contravention and Creation of Law during the French Revolution, Edward Kolla
29. Contingencies in The Rise of European and Latin American Private International Law, 1850 to 1950, Ana Delic

30. From Situated Freedom to Plausible Worlds, Samuel Moyn

 (source: OUP)