ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

vrijdag 2 december 2022

RECORDING: Völkerrechtsblog, "The World Bank’s Lawyers: Book Launch"


The recording of the joint ESIL IG History of International Law and ESIL IG International Organizations event has been posted on the Völkerrechtsblog website as part of a symposium dedicated to D. Van den Meerssche's newest book "The World Bank’s Lawyers: The Life of International Law as Institutional Practice".

Programme (16 November 2022, 18h15 CET - 20h CET)

Word of welcome from the organizers - Florenz Volkaert (Ghent University, IG HIL)
  1. Book presentation by Dr. Dimitri Van den Meerssche (Queen Mary), 18h20-18h40
  2. Followed by a panel discussion with..., 18h40-19h25
  • Negar Mansouri (Graduate Institute, IG IO)
  • Dr. Gail Lythgoe (University of Manchester, IG IO)
  • Dr. Tommaso Soave (Central European University)
  • Dr. Ahmed Memon (Cardiff School of Law and Politics)
  • Florenz Volkaert (moderator, Ghent University, IG HIL)
    • ... and a response by Dr. Van den Meerssche
       3. Questions from the audience, 19h25-19h55     
               
               Concluding remarks - Florenz Volkaert

Book abstract:

The World Bank’s Lawyers provides an original socio-legal account of the evolving institutional life of international law. Informed by oral archives, months of participant observation, interviews, legal memoranda and documents obtained through freedom-of-information requests, it tells an untold story of the World Bank’s legal department between 1983 and 2016. This is a story of people and the beliefs they have, the influence they seek and the tools they employ. It is an account of the practices they cling to and how these practices gain traction, or how they fail to do so, in an international bureaucracy. Inspired by Actor-Network Theory, relational sociologies of association and performativity theory, this ethnographic exploration multiplies the matters of concern in our study of international law(yering): the human and non-human, material and semantic, obscure and evasive actants that tie together the fragile fabric of legality. In tracing these threads, this book signals important changes in the conceptual repertoire and materiality of international legal practice, as liberal ideals were gradually displaced by managerial modes of evaluation. It reveals a world teeming with life—a space where professional postures and prototypes, aesthetic styles and technical routines are woven together in law’s shifting mode of existence. This history of international law as a contingent cultural technique enriches our understanding of the discipline’s disenchantment and the displacement of its traditional tropes by unexpected and unruly actors. It thereby inspires new ways of critical thinking about international law’s political pathways, promises and pathologies, as its language is inscribed in ever-evolving rationalities of rule.

maandag 14 november 2022

LECTURE SERIES: Ignacio DE LA RASILLA, "China and the Turn to the National Histories of International Law", Histories of International Law: Chinese and Global Perspectives (Zoom, 16 december 2022)

The first lecture in the Histories of International Law: Chinese and Global Perspectives lecture series organised by the Centre for Chinese and Comparative Law, City University of Hong Kong, in partnership with Wudan University School of Law and Fudan University School of Law (organizing committee: Professors Ignacio de la Rasilla, Jiangyu Wang and Congyan Cai) will take place 16 December 2022.

The program can be found below. Register using this link. Contact ccc.@cityu.edu.hk for more information.


LECTURE SERIES: Histories of International Law: Chinese and Global Perspectives, Wuhan University (Zoom, December 2022 - June 2023)

We have learnt of a lecture series organised by the Centre for Chinese and Comparative Law, City University of Hong Kong, in partnership with Wudan University School of Law and Fudan University School of Law (organizing committee: Professors Ignacio de la Rasilla, Jiangyu Wang and Congyan Cai).

Two lecture series will take place simultaneously from December 2022 to June 2023:

  1. Distinguished Lectures in the History of International Law
    • February 2023: Prof. Martti Koskenniemi
    • March 2023: Prof. David Armitage
    • April 2023: Prof. Jose Maria Beneyto
    • May 2023: Prof. Randall Lesaffer
  2. Histories of International Law: Chinese and Global Perspectives
    • 16 December 2022: China and the Turn to the National: Peripheral and Semi-Peripheral Histories of International Law
      • Prof. Ignacio de la Rasilla, Wuhan University
      • Discussant: Prof. Chen Li, Fudan University
    • 13 January 2023: In the Garden of Gethsemene: US-Sino Relations in the History of International Law during the Republican Period
      • Prof. Christopher Rossi, UiT The Arctic University of Hong Kong
      • Discussant: Prof. Ryan Mitchell, Chinese University of Hong Kong
    • 17 February 2023: Historicism and Chinese Translations of International Law in Late Qing China
      • Prof. Qu Wensheng & Mr. Wan Li, East China University of Political Science and Law
      • Discussant: Prof. Inge van Hulle, KU Leuven
    • 17 March 2023: The Legacy of Concessions
      • Prof. Frederic Megret, McGill University & Dr. Wanshu Cong, Hong Kong University
      • Discussant: Prof. Matthias Vanhullebusch, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
    • 14 April 2023: China and the 'Third World' in International Law - On Bandung and Beyond
      • Assist. Prof. Maria Adele Carrai, New York University Shanghai
      • Discussant: Dr John Haskell, Senior Lecturer, Manchester University
    • 19 May 2023: The Opening Up and Reform Policy and China's Re-engagement with the International Legal Order
      • Prof. Jacques deLisle, University of Pennsylvania
      • Discussant: tbc
    • 16 June 2023: Revolution and the Introduction of Marxist theory of International Law to China
      • Prof. Congyan Cai, Fudan University & Dr Jie Liu, Sun Yat-Sen University
      • Discussant: Prof. Björn Ahl, University of Cologne
For more information, see the program below or contact Prof. Ignacio de la Rasilla. Register on the website of the City University of Hong Kong.





woensdag 2 november 2022

BOOK LAUNCH: Dimitri VAN DEN MEERSSCHE, "The World Bank's Lawyers: The Life of International Law as Institutional Practice" (Zoom, 16 November 2022)

 

Source: OUP

In cooperation with the ESIL Interest Group on International Organizations and Völkerrechtsblog, the IG History of International Law is organizing an online book launch event for Dimitri van den Meerssche's (formerly at the Asser Institute and Edinburgh Law School, currently at Queen Mary University London) upcoming monograph on the history of lawyers at the World Bank: "The World Bank's Lawyers: The Life of International Law as Institutional Practice".

To attend, please register at the IG IO website. Please note that the event will be recorded and posted on the websites of the IG's and Völkerrechtsblog. Following the book launch, a book symposium will be published on the Völkerrechtsblog under the lead of Anna Sophia Tiedeke.

Programme (16 November 2022, 18h15 CET - 20h CET)

Word of welcome from the organizers - Florenz Volkaert (Ghent University, IG HIL)
  1. Book presentation by Dr. Dimitri Van den Meerssche (Queen Mary), 18h20-18h40
  2. Followed by a panel discussion with..., 18h40-19h25
    • Negar Mansouri (Graduate Institute, IG IO)
    • Dr. Gail Lythgoe (University of Manchester, IG IO)
    • Dr. Tommaso Soave (Central European University)
    • Dr. Ahmed Memon (Cardiff School of Law and Politics)
    • Florenz Volkaert (moderator, Ghent University, IG HIL)
      • ... and a response by Dr. Van den Meerssche
       3. Questions from the audience, 19h25-19h55     
               
               Concluding remarks - Florenz Volkaert

Book abstract:

The World Bank’s Lawyers provides an original socio-legal account of the evolving institutional life of international law. Informed by oral archives, months of participant observation, interviews, legal memoranda and documents obtained through freedom-of-information requests, it tells an untold story of the World Bank’s legal department between 1983 and 2016. This is a story of people and the beliefs they have, the influence they seek and the tools they employ. It is an account of the practices they cling to and how these practices gain traction, or how they fail to do so, in an international bureaucracy. Inspired by Actor-Network Theory, relational sociologies of association and performativity theory, this ethnographic exploration multiplies the matters of concern in our study of international law(yering): the human and non-human, material and semantic, obscure and evasive actants that tie together the fragile fabric of legality. In tracing these threads, this book signals important changes in the conceptual repertoire and materiality of international legal practice, as liberal ideals were gradually displaced by managerial modes of evaluation. It reveals a world teeming with life—a space where professional postures and prototypes, aesthetic styles and technical routines are woven together in law’s shifting mode of existence. This history of international law as a contingent cultural technique enriches our understanding of the discipline’s disenchantment and the displacement of its traditional tropes by unexpected and unruly actors. It thereby inspires new ways of critical thinking about international law’s political pathways, promises and pathologies, as its language is inscribed in ever-evolving rationalities of rule.

For more details, contact Florenz Volkaert (florenz.volkaert@ugent.be) and Negar Mansouri (negar.mansouri@graduateinstitute.ch).

donderdag 13 oktober 2022

REMINDER: Miroslav ŠEDIVY, "The geopolitical background of the debates on international law in the mid-19th century", Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Brussels/MSTeams, 18 October 2022)

 

Image source: VUB CORE

The geopolitical background of the debates on international law in the mid-19th century
Introduction
In the 1840s, Europeans often expressed a deep mistrust of the international order that had been created in Europe after the Napoleonic Wars. This feeling resulted from the assertive and often illegal policies of the great powers which made a considerable number of people believe that the world was dominated by the strength of material power instead of written law. With this conviction, the questions of security, justice and international law became more and more debated in Europe. Some contemporaries desired to change the post- Napoleonic order by replacing it with a new one based on the principle of nationhood ensuring greater justice and a more stable peace among free European nations. During the same decade a similar debate on the political-legal coexistence with European countries spread in the United States. The goal of the paper is to reveal this important, but in historical and legal scholarship still neglected, phenomenon that existed in the mid-19th century on both sides of the Atlantic and contributed to the globalisation of international order.

Biographical note
Miroslav Šedivý (born in 1980, Prague) is a professor in general history at the University of Pardubice in the Czech Republic. He deals with the history of Europe and the Mediterranean spanning the period from the late 18th to the early 20th century. He has already published a trilogy on the functioning of the post-Napoleonic states system in the Near East (Metternich, the Great Powers and the Eastern Question, Pilsen 2013), Central Europe (Crisis among the Great Powers: The Concert of Europe and the Eastern Question, London– New York 2017) and Italy (The Decline of the Congress System: Metternich, Italy and European Diplomacy, London–New York 2018). His most recent book is on Si vis pacem, para bellum: The Italian Response to International Insecurity 1830–1848 (Vienna 2021). At this moment he is writing The Victory of Realism: The German Quest for International Security 1839–1853 (Paderborn 2023).

Practical information
Tuesday 18 October 2022 17:00-19:00 CET 
Vrije Universiteit Brussel Room: C409 
Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus
Free entrance. Register with wouter.de.rycke @ vub. be for the Microsoft Teams link if not attending in person.
Source: VUB Core

dinsdag 11 oktober 2022

CALL FOR RESPONDENTS: Book launch event D. VAN DEN MEERSSCHE, "The World Bank's Lawyers: The Life of International Law as Institutional Practice" (DATE: TBA mid-November, DEADLINE: 21 October 2022).

 

Source: OUP

In cooperation with the ESIL Interest Group on International Organizations, the IG History of International Law is organizing an online book launch event for Dimitri van den Meerssche's (formerly at the Asser Institute and Edinburgh Law School, currently at Queen Mary University London) upcoming monograph on the history of lawyers at the World Bank. Professor van den Meerssche will present the main points of his book, followed by 7-10 minutes of comments from two respondents. The IG History of International Law is sending out an open call for respondents. If you are interested in reviewing "The World Bank's Lawyers: The Life of International Law as Institutional Practice" and acting as a respondent in the book launch event on Zoom in mid-November (exact date TBA), send an email to florenz.volkaert@ugent.be and negar.mansouri@graduateinstitute.ch with your cv and a short motivation (max. 500 words) attached, explaining why you would like to review the book and act as a respondent, and some of the main points you would like to raise. The deadline for sending in your candidature is the 21st of October 2022.

donderdag 22 september 2022

WORKSHOP: New Directions in the Theory & History of International Law - Workshop II: "Beauty and Power: Aesthetics, History, & International Law", Graduate Institute (Geneva, October 19-20 October 2023, DEADLINE: 25 November 2022)

 Description:

The field of international legal history finds itself at a crossroads. After some decades, the tone of the literature on the “turn to history” has turned from celebration to self-critique. Indeed, the last couple of years has witnessed increased calls to pursue new directions in international legal history, departing from the “well-worn paths” initially explored. In this vein, some urge for a localized approach to the study of “legal politics,” while others push for a “history of international law in the vernacular,” a “grassroots analysis,” or a “radical historical critique.” In my own work, I have argued for a (new) materialist approach,  which resonates with other broader drives for the retrieval of Marxist perspectives in international legal history. Moreover, the “marked absences” of class, gender, and race from the traditional canon of the discipline seem like an increasingly inexcusable exclusion.  In sum, the stage is set for a profound reconsideration of the aims, methodologies, and archives of contemporary international legal history.

With this in mind, the interdisciplinary workshop series “New Directions in the Theory & History of International Law” aims to create a space where emerging and senior scholars of different traditions can meet and rethink on the past, present, and future of the theory and history of the discipline. For this purpose, the Geneva Graduate Institute will host a series of two-day academic workshops to promote productive conversations between different disciplinary sensibilities and perspectives along three core issues over the next three years.

These three cross-cutting themes are:

Political Economy, History, and International Law - held on June 2-3, 2022

with Professor Susan Marks, London School of Economics

Beauty and Power: Aesthetics, History, and International Law - October 19-20, 2023

with Professor Kate Miles, University of Cambridge

Space and Scale in International Legal History - Spring 2024 (tentative date TBD)

with Professor Luis Eslava, University of Kent

Scholars who would like to present a paper at the second workshop on “Beauty and Power: Aesthetics, History, & International Law” are invited to submit a title and abstract (250─500 words) to daniel.quiroga@graduateinstitute.ch before November 25, 2022 (23:59 Geneva Time - CEST). A decision on acceptance of the abstract will be communicated by late October. We expect to host these workshops in person, but hybrid participation might be considered depending on the overall sanitary situation and the guidelines issued by the Geneva Graduate Institute. We are keen on exploring options for a collective publication effort after the workshop. As such, we encourage potential participants to bear this in mind as they prepare their abstracts.

Source: Graduate Institute

woensdag 21 september 2022

LECTURE SERIES: CoCoLaw Series on Colonial Legal History 2022/2, University of Helsinki (Zoom, 15 September - 11 October - 8 November - 13 December 2022)

 

Image source: ESCLH blog

Description:

Dear colleagues,
We are pleased to announce and invite you the Autumn Program for the CoCoLaw Series on Colonial Legal History 2022/2. There will be four lectures, one each month from September to December, to discuss the latest investigations about the law enacted on colonial spaces during the early modern period.
For this semester, we will have the following speakers:

15.09 – Brazilian Colonial Law: Theoretical Framework and Contributions - Gustavo Cabral, Universidade Federal do Ceará

11.10 – Latin American Colonial Household as a Normative Sphere - Romina Zamora, Universidad de Tucumán

8.11 – Lawyering in France’s Early Modern Empire - Laurie Wood, Florida State University

13.12 – The Law of the Dutch East Indies. From Ruling a Trading Post to Ruling Territories - Boudewijn Sirks, University of Oxford

All lectures will take place online via Zoom and everyone are welcome to join (Meeting ID 405 3342976, Password 229973).

Kind regards,

CoCoLaw Project - Comparing Early Modern Colonial Laws
University of Helsinki

Source: ESCLH blog

dinsdag 20 september 2022

BOOK LAUNCH EVENT: Université Libre de Bruxelles, "De Salamanque à Guantanamo – Une histoire du droit international" (Brussels, 5 October 2022, DEADLINE: 30 September 2022)

Image source: ULB
Description:

The Centre de droit international at the Université Libre de Bruxelles is organising a book launch for a new comic strip on the history of international law on October 5.

Parler du droit international en bandes dessinées. C’est le défi qu’ont relevé Olivier Corten et Pierre Klein en scénarisant, sur des dessins de Gérard Bedoret, De Salamanque à Guantanamo – Une histoire du droit international.

Ce document graphique explique l’évolution du droit international au fil des siècles. Des premières doctrines de la guerre juste, formulées par l’école de Salamanque au XVe siècle, jusqu’à la prison de Guantánamo ou à la guerre en Ukraine, il montre comment les États ont créé un nombre toujours croissant de règles et d’institutions pour régir leurs interactions.

Il propose une lecture critique du droit international, tiraillé à toutes les époques entre une dimension éthique (le droit comme vecteur de progrès et de civilisation) et une dimension politique (le droit comme instrument du pouvoir entre les États).

L’ouvrage, publié chez Futuropolis (Gallimard), sortira le 5 octobre 2022.

À l’occasion de sa parution, le Centre de droit international de l’Université libre de Bruxelles et les éditions Futuropolis organisent une table-ronde animée par Anne Lagerwall (directrice du Centre de droit international) sur le thème « Du droit international par la bande (dessinée) » avec

Gérard Bedoret (dessinateur)

Olivier Corten et Pierre Klein (scénaristes)

Philippe Sands (University College London, auteur de la préface)

Anne-Charlotte Martineau (Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Paris)

Sébastien Gnaedig (éditions Futuropolis)

Mercredi 5 octobre 2022 à 17h30, à la salle Dupréel (Institut de Sociologie de l’ULB, Avenue Jeanne 44, 1050 Bruxelles).

La table-ronde sera suivie d’une réception.

Inscription requise avant le 30 septembre 2022: cdi@ulb.be 

More info can be found on the ULB website.

Source: ESCLH blog

maandag 19 september 2022

BOOK: Rahul SAGAR (ed.), To Raise a Fallen People: The Nineteenth-Century Origins of Indian Views on International Politics (Columbia University Press, 2022)

Description:

To Raise a Fallen People brings to light pioneering writing on international politics from nineteenth-century India. Drawing on extensive archival research, it unearths essays, speeches, and pamphlets that address fundamental questions about India’s place in the world. In these texts, prominent public figures urge their compatriots to learn English and travel abroad to study, debate whether to boycott foreign goods, differ over British imperialism in Afghanistan and China, demand that foreign policy toward the Middle East and South Africa account for religious and ethnic bonds, and query whether to adopt Western values or champion their own civilizational ethos.

Rahul Sagar’s detailed introduction contextualizes these documents and shows how they fostered competing visions of the role that India ought to play on the world stage. This landmark book is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the sources of Indian conduct in international politics.

Table of Contents:

Preface
Editorial Note
Introduction
Part I: Regaining Greatness
1. English Education
2. Sea Voyages
Part II: Critiques
3. The Great Game
4. The Eastern Question
5. Free Trade
6. Racism
7. The Opium Trade
Part III: The Great Debate
8. To Learn from the West
9. To Teach the West
Further Reading
Index

vrijdag 16 september 2022

JOURNAL: Diplomatica: a Journal of Diplomacy and Society, Volume 4, Issue 2 (September 2022)

Image source: Brill

Diplomatica

Latest issue: Vol. 4, No. 2 (September 2022)

Articles

Forum: Diplomacy and the Natural Environment

Shaine Scarminach

Klaudia Kuchno

Jenniver Sehring, Susanne Schmeier, Rozemarijn ter Horst, Alyssa Offutt, and Bota Sharipova

Mariia Koskina

Niedja de Andrade e Silva Forte dos Santos and Sandra Maria Rodrigues Balão

Tatiana Bakhmetyeva

Book Reviews

Emil Eiby Seidenfaden

Quincy Cloet




Cathleen Sarti

Karl W. Schweizer

Selim Deringil

Jordan Tama

Read more with the publisher.

donderdag 15 september 2022

LECTURE: Miroslav ŠEDIVY, "The geopolitical background of the debates on international law in the mid-19th century", Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Brussels/MSTeams, 18 October 2022)


Image source: VUB CORE

The geopolitical background of the debates on international law in the mid-19th century
Introduction
In the 1840s, Europeans often expressed a deep mistrust of the international order that had been created in Europe after the Napoleonic Wars. This feeling resulted from the assertive and often illegal policies of the great powers which made a considerable number of people believe that the world was dominated by the strength of material power instead of written law. With this conviction, the questions of security, justice and international law became more and more debated in Europe. Some contemporaries desired to change the post- Napoleonic order by replacing it with a new one based on the principle of nationhood ensuring greater justice and a more stable peace among free European nations. During the same decade a similar debate on the political-legal coexistence with European countries spread in the United States. The goal of the paper is to reveal this important, but in historical and legal scholarship still neglected, phenomenon that existed in the mid-19th century on both sides of the Atlantic and contributed to the globalisation of international order.

Biographical note
Miroslav Šedivý (born in 1980, Prague) is a professor in general history at the University of Pardubice in the Czech Republic. He deals with the history of Europe and the Mediterranean spanning the period from the late 18th to the early 20th century. He has already published a trilogy on the functioning of the post-Napoleonic states system in the Near East (Metternich, the Great Powers and the Eastern Question, Pilsen 2013), Central Europe (Crisis among the Great Powers: The Concert of Europe and the Eastern Question, London– New York 2017) and Italy (The Decline of the Congress System: Metternich, Italy and European Diplomacy, London–New York 2018). His most recent book is on Si vis pacem, para bellum: The Italian Response to International Insecurity 1830–1848 (Vienna 2021). At this moment he is writing The Victory of Realism: The German Quest for International Security 1839–1853 (Paderborn 2023).

Practical information
Tuesday 18 October 2022 17:00-19:00 CET 
Vrije Universiteit Brussel Room: C409 
Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus
Free entrance. Register with wouter.de.rycke @ vub. be for the Microsoft Teams link if not attending in person.
Source: VUB Core

CALL FOR PAPERS: "Law and Economics of Indigenous and Ethnic Minorities", European Journal of Law and Economics (DEADLINE: 1 February 2023)

Source: EJLE

The European Journal of Law and Economics has a call for papers which might be of interest to scholars working on the history of indigenous and ethnic minorities under international law.

Description:

Law and Economics of Indigenous and Ethnic Minorities

The European Journal of Law and Economics is calling for papers for a special issue on the Law and Economics of Indigenous and Ethnic Minorities, to be published from late 2023. The special issue will be edited by Mikayla Novak (Australian National University).

Scholars of law and economics have increasingly recognized the impact of legal issues upon economic outcomes experienced by indigenous peoples and members of ethnic minorities globally. The implications of property rights for the attainment of economic development opportunities and, relatedly, the maintenance of traditional customs, knowledge, and practices by indigenous and ethnic groups has been the subject of academic attention. Legal reform agendas, including at the constitutional level, have been advanced as part of efforts to redress the historical economic burdens arising from discrimination and exclusion as experienced by indigenous groups and peoples of diverse ethnic backgrounds. Despite progress in advancing ethnic and racial equality and progress, numerous legal, regulatory, and other policy barriers remain in force in many countries today. The effects of such barriers in limiting the extent of economic participation by indigenous and ethnic minorities is an ongoing subject of inquiry.

Law and economics are regarded as providing significant insights concerning the economic determinants and implications of legal rules, as well as impacts of broader legal and institutional systems, for indigenous and ethnic groups. The purpose of this special issue is to present conceptual and empirical research contributions addressing the legal circumstances of indigenous peoples, and people of diverse ethnic backgrounds, using economic approaches and tools. How legal arrangements, including the operation of the judiciary and regulatory agencies, influence the capacity of markets to promote the prosperity of marginalized peoples is of particular interest. Another lucrative line of inquiry is to investigate how indigenous and ethnic minorities participate in legal systems in their efforts to attain greater economic self-determination and recognition.

Submissions that consider the law and economics of indigenous groups and ethnic minorities from a range of economic and political economy sub-disciplines, such as public choice, constitutional political economy, Austrian economics, evolutionary economics, and entangled political economy, are welcome. We also welcome submissions from researchers from a variety of social sciences (economics, law, political science, anthropology, sociology, history) investigating the law and economics of indigenous and ethnic minorities.

Interested authors are welcome to discuss their research ideas with Mikayla Novak (mikayla.novak@anu.edu.au). Submissions will be received until 1 February 2023.

All papers will be reviewed in accordance with journal policy. Manuscripts should be submitted in accordance with the submission guidelines. In accordance with submission guidelines, manuscripts should be submitted online. In Editorial Manager, manuscripts must be identified as submissions for the special issue.

Source: EALE announcements

woensdag 14 september 2022

BOOK: Jamie MARTIN, The Meddlers: Sovereignty, Empire, and the Birth of Global Economic Governance (Harvard University Press, 2022)

Image source: HUP

Description:

A pioneering history traces the origins of global economic governance—and the political conflicts it generates—to the aftermath of World War I.

International economic institutions like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank exert incredible influence over the domestic policies of many states. These institutions date from the end of World War II and amassed power during the neoliberal era of the late twentieth century. But as Jamie Martin shows, if we want to understand their deeper origins and the ideas and dynamics that shaped their controversial powers, we must turn back to the explosive political struggles that attended the birth of global economic governance in the early twentieth century.

The Meddlers tells the story of the first international institutions to govern the world economy, including the League of Nations and Bank for International Settlements, created after World War I. These institutions endowed civil servants, bankers, and colonial authorities from Europe and the United States with extraordinary powers: to enforce austerity, coordinate the policies of independent central banks, oversee development programs, and regulate commodity prices. In a highly unequal world, they faced a new political challenge: was it possible to reach into sovereign states and empires to intervene in domestic economic policies without generating a backlash?

Martin follows the intense political conflicts provoked by the earliest international efforts to govern capitalism—from Weimar Germany to the Balkans, Nationalist China to colonial Malaya, and the Chilean desert to Wall Street. The Meddlers shows how the fraught problems of sovereignty and democracy posed by institutions like the IMF are not unique to late twentieth-century globalization, but instead first emerged during an earlier period of imperial competition, world war, and economic crisis.

Table of Contents:

Introduction
1. Managing the Global Economy during the First World War
2. Enforcing Austerity in Postwar Europe
3. An Independent International Bank
4. The Origins of International Development
5. Controlling Commodities
6. Sovereignty and the IMF
Conclusion
Abbreviations
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index

vrijdag 9 september 2022

CONFERENCE: Colonialism and the EU Legal Order (University of Copenhagen, 29-30 September 2022)

Image Source: UoCopenhagen


Description:
In 1957, when the European Union (then EEC) was founded, four of the original six Member States were colonial powers: France, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands.
This conference will bring lawyers, legal historians, sociologists and political scientists together to discuss the ways in which colonialism has shaped the EU legal order. The reverberations of colonialism will be addressed with respect to the construction of EU law in areas such as development aid; trade and free movement; the interpretation and application of specific legal categories; as well as the in the re-emergence of actors; and the setting up of institutions. The conference will feature a keynote address by Kako Nubukpo, Commissioner of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).
Ultimately, this conference will reflect on the implications of these imprints of colonialism, and their iterations in the postcolonial period until today, for the individual subjected to EU law and for the societies that the EU legal order touches.
Venue: Auditorium 22.0.11, South Campus, Emil Holms Kanal 2, DK-2300 Copenhagen S
Time: Thursday 29 September (09:00-18:00) and Friday 30 September (09:00-13:15)
Registration will close Monday 26 September at 12:00.
For more information please contact Hanna Eklund (hanna.eklund@jur.ku.dk).
Consult the conference website for more details.

donderdag 8 september 2022

REPORT: ESIL Annual Conference, Interest Group History of International Law Pre-conference Hybrid Workshop 'Histories of Inclusion / Exclusion in International Law' (Utrecht/Zoom, 31 August - 1 September 2022)

Interest Group History of International Law Pre-conference Hybrid Workshop

'Histories of Inclusion / Exclusion in International Law' 
Last week (31/08/2022 - 01/09/2022), the IG History of International Law organized its preconference workshop preceding the ESIL Annual Conference in Utrecht. The call for papers can be retrieved via our blog. One of the IG conveners, Jaanika Erne (Tartu), has been so kind as to provide us with a personal account of two exciting days:

31 August 2022, 2 pm – 5 pm (CET)

Panel 1: In / Exclusion in international law through the lens of literature and gender

1. Teodora Schrotter, Cambridge University - University of London, Histories of Inclusion/Exclusion in International (Criminal) Law

2. Anastasia Hammerschmied, Universität Wien, Wartime Sexual Violence in 19th Century International Law

3. Aditi Patil, Human Rights Measurement Initiative; Rashmi Dharia, Sciences Po Law School, On Magic and Mandates: Decolonising Witchcraft and Sorcery in the History of International Human Rights

We heard three excellent presentations, followed by insightful comments and questions from the audience, chaired by IG convener, Florenz Volkaert:

1. Anastasia Hammerschmied (Universität Wien), “Wartime Sexual Violence in 19th Century International Law” on an aspect of prohibition of sexual violence in armed conflict under international law from 1870 to 1914 against women, in the light of, on the one hand, the international law institute of sources (and the related problems: fragmentation and indeterminacy) – by that pointing to interpretation; and on the other hand, there is politicization - the problem of ideas and what constitutes ideas for a society or for different levels of society.

2. Teodora Schrotter (Cambridge University, University of London), ”Histories of Inclusion/Exclusion in International (Criminal) Law.”

The paper focused on the linear historical trajectory of international criminal law but also made clear that there exists a non-linear perspective besides the historical linearity, to which the author tries to get closer by using Law and Literature approach.

Schrotter has used the book “Waiting for Hitler: Voices from Britain on the Brink of Invasion”, which book refers to the personal diaries of the people who lived in 1940s Britain under the threat of German invasion. – The use of the book that way is an example of the Law and Literature approach.

Reading the abstract, at the first sight (as a member of the Coordinating Committee), I [J.E.] was sceptical about this Paper because it was not clear to me, whether the area of fiction (F with the part H [as history] within it) could be filled with only one book compiled by only one author’s subjective account? But it actually can, depending on the reach and general acceptance of the ideas in such a book. Legal fiction is generated through imagination. The key is to find a powerful denominator that could touch everyone, such as, for example, Hitler. So, literature can add power to any (legal) decision, while literature has the potential to cultivate a critical conscience (abstract characterizations of law). This can be connected with psychology which teaches us that we can only see the materialization from the outside but not the inner processes that drive it. [J.E.]

The problem with a Law and Literature approach based on one book could be that one book still only achieves “another fragmentation” of the entire research field. So, we remain in search of a common denominator with the Law and Literature approach. Literature works similarly to theatre, movies, and the other arts. [J.E.]

3. Aditi Patil (Human Rights Measurement Initiative), Rashmi Dharia (Sciences Po Law School), “On Magic and Mandates: Decolonising Witchcraft and Sorcery in the History of International Human Rights.”

I [J.E.] understood that this Paper, talking of “the spirits of the drafters - divine in their intuitions …”, is a perfect example of what happens if the fiction part in judgments goes wrong!

Reading the paper, made me [J.E.] think about Louis Althusser’s ideology division into, on the one hand, public ideology as State ideology, community ideology including also the ideology of masses shaped by state media, and individual ideology, on the other hand, while the latter has always been shaped by control. The main focus, therefore, is on the relationship between state and individual.

As examples, the paper brings in the dimensions of Christianity vs. Paganism and polytheism, and the opposition of civilized vs. non-civilized, as illustrations of the forms of censorship.

So, the historicization of witchcraft illustrates the problem already articulated - a judgment based on the values in society because the judge is a product of the society [e.g.: has attended school, listens to the news, music, etc.] [Beliefs can be so strong that even stronger beliefs (e.g. emotions) could be required to change them.-J.E.]

During the vivid discussion following the presentation was pointed out that there is also the other side - a judgment based on the overall intelligence of the judge shapes the society because such judgment says what a society is about. It was also pointed out that one cannot convict based on literature solely.

1 September 2022, 9 am – 12 am (CET)

Panel 2: In / Exclusion in the history of international law and capitalism

1. Matheus Gobbato Leichtweis, Universidad Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Law, ideology and capitalist reason: the violence of abstraction as a mechanism of exclusion/inclusion in international law

2. Florenz Volkaert, Ghent University, Treaties of commerce and the most-favored-nation clause in late 19th- and early 20th-century legal doctrine: a tool for economic and/or civilizational in / exclusion?

Panel 3: In / Exclusion of culture and minorities in the history of international law

1. Dr. Ríán Derrig, World Maritime University, Historicizing the Politics of Interpretation: The Exclusion/Inclusion of Cultural Context through Legal Interpretation

2. Dr. Elizabeth Craig, University of Sussex, Who are minority rights for? The Role of Petitions and the League of Nations minority rights regime

Panel 4: In / Exclusion in the history of international investment law

1. Christopher Yaw Nyinevi, Monash University,  Deconstructing the exclusion of corporations from international legal personality

2. Yanweng Zhang, University College London, Equitable Representation on International Benches and the Appointment of Investor-State Dispute Settlement Tribunal Members: A Historical Perspective

We heard six excellent presentations, followed by insightful comments and questions from the audience, chaired by IG convener, Prof. Markus Beham:

1. Matheus Gobbato Leichtweis (Universidad Federal do Rio Grande do Sul) talked about law, ideology and capitalist reason - the violence of abstraction as a mechanism of exclusion/inclusion in international law.

The presentation continued our Interest Group’s yesterday’s discussions concerning the dilemma of, on the one hand, free thought, and on the other hand, the suppression of fiction or free thought. While in theory international law is anarchical by nature, the reference to Indians brings in a dilemma between Might and Right. So, a question arises, whether Might makes Right? - This understanding was substituted by the League of Nations and the United Nations, and these technologies of governance are based on pragmatism, while the content of that pragmatism is decided during deliberation between state representatives. Can we talk about the “free will” of state representatives or are they dependent on the systems that were created before them [like money, the banking system, adjudication system (the latter based on the Roman understanding that the winner is s/he who knows a certain formula, not the Truth.) – J.E.]

So, we received an overview of the step-by-step development of the concept of governance, structurally connected with the capitalist social relations. The author refers to Marx in his explanation: people enter into relationships because the conditions of production necessitate them. He also refers amongst others to the understanding by Ntina Tzouvala of “capitalism as civilisation” uncovering the argumentative mechanisms through which the logics of inclusion and exclusion operate in international law, while Ntina Tzouvala shows how legal argumentation has shaped the civilisation into what it is.

2. Florenz Volkaert (Ghent University) discussed the turn-of-the-century practices of commercial treaty-making, the role the most-favoured-nation clause played in European domestic and imperial trade policy, and the complicity of Western international lawyers in enabling colonialism. This paper won the 2022 ESIL Young Scholar Prize.

3. Dr. Ríán Derrig (World Maritime University), “Historicizing the Politics of Interpretation: The Exclusion/Inclusion of Cultural Context through Legal Interpretation.”

The author has been historicizing the Politics of Interpretation: the exclusion/inclusion of cultural context through legal interpretation, concerning his book project based on his Ph.D. dissertation (forthcoming in OUP) about the intellectual history of the New Haven School that Derrig uses for entry to the field of post-war American international law scholarship. Derrig pointed to the two basic claims that the New Haven School could help see about the field:

1) Myres S. McDougal’s anti-formalist approach to interpretation, and 

2) when one places this anti-formalist legal method in a historical context, one might see that legal interpretation has been conditioned by the political cultures in which it operates.

The 1968 UN Conference discussed ILC’s Draft Articles on the interpretation of treaties that became Articles 31 and 32 VCLT. McDougal attacked the formalized hierarchy established by the Draft Articles and suggested a new version of those Articles.

What to initially take with from this Paper? One potential takeaway is that there are no fixed or natural meanings of words that the parties could not alter – leading into the idea of progressive international law based on Harold Lasswell’s neo-Freudian Social Theory and the social critique based on that theory.

4. Dr. Elizabeth Craig (University of Sussex), “Who are minority rights for? The Role of Petitions and the League of Nations minority rights regime.”

The paper talked about the hegemonic narrative and double standards that still remain. Elizabeth Craig was also referring to the need for contextualizing in order to understand better. Her conclusion is that there really is politics in law.

5. Christopher Yaw Nyinevi (Monash University), “Deconstructing the exclusion of corporations from international legal personality.” 

In the beginning, the author referred to the classical international law where only states had ILP but individuals, companies, and non-state actors were objects of international law. This view has gradually changed. He focuses on the status of corporations in international law, specifically, of multinational corporations.

A reference was made to James Crawford who pointed out that there was no norm in international law that extended international criminal liability beyond states to corporations. Nyinevi showed the gradual development of international law - that similarly to individuals, some human rights have been attributed to corporations, still mostly through state mechanisms. The paper also discussed the consequences of giving ILP to multinational corporations.

Professor Anne Peters raised the question: why couldn’t multinational companies have just rights and obligations instead of ILP. [Maybe the ILP of multinational companies could result in a Permanent Court of Arbitration-type of control over multinational companies? – J.E.].

6. Yanweng Zhang (University College London), “Equitable Representation on International Benches and the Appointment of Investor-State Dispute Settlement Tribunal Members: A Historical Perspective.”

Yanweng Zhang demonstrated high-level competencies and skills of analysis throughout her presentation and the preceding and following discussions. The paper points to the diversity of definitions concerning geography and gender in the arbitration system. Her remarks were followed by a vivid discussion on the questions concerning the need for a more permanent court of arbitration, i.e., internationalization of commerce.

Jaanika Erne

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The convenors would like to thank all speakers and attendants for their participation, interest and enthusiasm. We hope to see you again at our next workshop!

Markus Beham - John Morss - Jaanika Erne - Florenz Volkaert