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  • Author: Helmut Philipp Aust
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Cities are beginning to assert themselves as internationally relevant actors. This is particularly noticeable in the climate change context. This development has so far not been accorded a great deal of attention by international lawyers. The review essay discusses four new books by political scientists which offer us a closer look at the political dimension of 'global cities', a term originally coined by sociologist Saskia Sassen. The four books under review as well as this essay pay particular attention to the C40 association – a movement of self-styled city leaders in climate change governance. This group of cities has developed numerous ties with international organizations and private corporations. The review essay analyses how cooperative endeavours such as C40 challenge our understanding of the relationship between the city and the state and assesses how international law as a discipline could come to terms with these developments. It is argued that international law should fulfil two functions in this regard: recognition and contestation. Whereas cities may not yet be recognized subjects of international law, they are moving closer to this illustrious circle. In any case, their law-making processes are beginning to have a significant impact on processes of global governance.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Law, Governance