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  • Author: Anne-Charlotte Martineau
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Last Spring, the Rechtskulturen programme, an initiative of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin at the Transregionale Studien Forum, invited me to participate in a symposium on the Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law – a robust book of 1250 pages. I was asked to 'critically assess' the Handbook's 'global history' approach, that is, to assess whether it was a successful step in 'overcoming Eurocentrism' in the history of international law. The symposium turned out to be a wonderful event, a gathering of historians, anthropologists, political scientists, and lawyers, where I became very conscious of my own professional language but where I also experienced a willingnesss to transcend disciplinary boundaries and biases. The following remarks should be interpreted as a continuation of that discussion. Before looking at some of the contributions in the Handbook that did depart from 'well-worn paths' (to use the editors' expression) (3), I would like to say few words about the 'global history' approach (1) and the unfortunate resilience of Eurocentric voices in the Handbook (2).
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Anne Peters, Bardo Fassbender
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: As we remarked in the Introduction to our Handbook, it is exciting but also risky to leave a well-worn path (at 2). It means meeting unforeseen obstacles. We were quite aware of the fact that if we wanted to shed light on historical developments in international law which so far had remained in darkness or obscurity, we had to be prepared to encounter the unexpected and not so readily understood – that is, accounts and narratives which call into question conventional wisdom and which, at least initially, pose additional problems rather than providing easy answers. We knew that new research on issues which had rarely been examined before would not be perfect or 'complete'. In other words, we expected, and in fact expressly invited, criticism of a work which tried to break new ground.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Timo Kolvurova
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Those who follow the newspapers and media in general are led to believe that the stakes are getting higher in the Arctic. Climate change is melting the sea ice and opening up new economic opportunities: oil, gas, moving fish stocks, and shorter navigational routes are among the benefits to be had by those who are bold enough to make a move. According to the media, China and other emerging economies are claiming their own piece of the Arctic. In the scramble among states for the riches of the Arctic, we sense a scenario that may even drive states to the point of military conflict. Yet, this scramble does not take place in a legal vacuum – there are plenty of legal rules that govern the behaviour of states and other actors in the region. Indeed, this is one of the salient points that Michael Byers makes in his book.
  • Topic: Environment, International Law, Oil
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Anne Orford
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: International law emerged as a professional academic specialization in a 19th century European context of wide-ranging public debates about the nature and cultural significance of science. Ever since, the status of international law as an academic discipline has been intimately connected with the capacity of international lawyers to demonstrate that our discipline is properly scientific. Yet the ideals of science upon which international lawyers have drawn in seeking to demonstrate the scientific nature of our work have not remained static. This article explores how those shifting ideals of science have shaped the concerns, questions, methods, and theories adopted by professional legal scholars in different times and places, including the 19th century Cambridge of Whewell, the 20th century Vienna of Kelsen, the post-war New Haven of McDougal and Lasswell, and the globally networked university of the 21st century. In returning to the historical debates out of which today's highly stylized versions of positivist and policy-oriented international law emerged, the article shows that while scholars of international law have shared a commitment to scientific values of rationality, progress, and objectivity, they have understood those commitments as requiring different forms of conduct, different means of producing knowledge, and different relations to the state.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Tilmann Altwicker, Oliver Diggelman
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: There is a tendency in international legal discourse to tell the story of international law as a story of progress. 'Progress' is a concept which is tied to the process of secularization and Western 18th and 19th century philosophy. It still inspires the debate on international law – despite all setbacks in 'real history'. This article argues that progress narratives in the inter-national legal discourse are constructed by – more or less subtle – argumentative techniques. It highlights four such techniques – four 'bundles of arguments' – which play a key role: ascending periodization, proving increasing value-orientation of international law, detection of positive trends, and paradigm shift-talk. The article offers an explanation of why the pro-gress argument often succeeds in international legal discourse.
  • Topic: International Law, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Author: Arnulf Becker Lorca
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Conventionally, self-determination is understood to have evolved in a linear progression from a political principle during World War I into an international right after World War II. The history of the right to self-determination before 1945 is thus part of 'pre-history'. This article explores that 'pre-history' and finds the conventional linear narrative unconvincing. During the first three decades of the 20th century and in particular during the interwar period, non-Western lawyers, politicians, and activists articulated international law claims to support the demand for self-government. In this process, they appropriated and transformed the international law discourse. Removing the legal obstacles that prevented self-government beyond the West – that is, by eliminating the standard of civilization – interwar semi-peripherals made possible the emergence of a right to self-determination later, when the international political context changed after the second post-war reconstruction of international law.
  • Topic: International Law, War
  • Author: Laszlo Blutman
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Andrew Guzman declares that customary international law is in trouble. I disagree. It is those who seek to explain it who are in trouble. Theoretical efforts are plagued with descriptive insufficiencies (for example, the formation of various customary norms takes place within a heterogeneous, opaque process that resists any general and meaningful description in specific cases), systemic uncertainties (for example, locating the source of rules that govern the formation of customary norms), semantic problems (such as what exactly is general practice) and the divergence of conceptions articulated within international practice. These difficulties, which hamper a better understanding of international law itself, originate from the conceptual level. This article will therefore focus on certain symptomatic conceptual and methodological problems. Nine of them are outlined, and three will be analysed in greater detail, namely the relationship between opinio juris and acceptance, the characteristics of the concept 'general practice' and the failure of attempts to describe customary international law by dichotomies. As a conclusion, the author identifies seven requirements of, and assumptions about, a possible, workable theory of customary international law.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Author: David Roth-Isigkeit
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: That positivism is not the promised land of legal methods has become a truism among critical international lawyers. All too often the proclaimed objectivity, neutrality and science has turned out to be intertwined with ideology and domination. In line with the historical-economic turn of the Helsinki school, Monica García-Salmones Rovira's book The Project of Positivism in International Law finds the historical roots of positivism deeply embedded in the development of a global neo-liberal economy. The economic foundations of the method are unearthed with two intellectual biographies of its founding fathers, Lassa Oppenheim and Hans Kelsen, whose life projects have so far escaped critical scrutiny. The book weaves into these two biographical studies the story of international law as a pragmatist and scientific project that freed the discipline from the tradition of natural law to become a servant of global economic interests.
  • Topic: International Law, War
  • Author: Giedre Jokubauskaite
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Philipp Dann has long been committed to the legal issues of international development cooperation, and now his monograph on this subject, originally written in German, has been published in English. The comprehensive monograph entitled The Law of Development Cooperation skilfully builds upon the knowledge that already exists on this topic and systematizes an enormous amount of relevant literature. The reader is presented with a stimulating text that is dense in terms of its arguments and yet easy to engage with.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Author: Alexandre Skander Galand
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: State Sovereignty and International Criminal Law, edited by Morten Bergsmo and Ling Yan, brings together two recent issues of international law: the rise of international criminal law as a building block in the nascent constitution of the international legal order and the increasingly active participation of China in international law. Even though China is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), it has until recently been de facto absent from the debates over norms of international law. Likewise, international criminal justice is a field of law that stagnated for more than 40 years. The last two decades have witnessed a revival of both phoenixes.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: China