International law

Featured Interviews

Islam, Constitutionalism, and the Nation State in Afghanistan: An Interview with Faiz Ahmed
Interviews | December 5, 2018

Islam, Constitutionalism, and the Nation State in Afghanistan: An Interview with Faiz Ahmed

In his book, Afghanistan Rising: Islamic Law and Statecraft between the Ottoman and British Empires, Faiz Ahmed, Associate Professor of History at Brown University, tells a story of a modern Islamic project of statecraft and legal synthesis, undertaken against a background of broader regional connections. The early legal history of Afghanistan is an account of an Islamic politics that did not, as in contemporary cases, grasp for imported European legal codes. Nor did it constitute a case of Salafi or "Wahhabi" ideologies of Islamic reform. Rather, King Amanullah's project emerged out of a rich history of what Ahmed calls "interislamic" cultural exchange and modern visions of politics, including a unique adaptation and application of the shariʿa to the form of the modern nation-state.

Read more about `Islam, Constitutionalism, and the Nation State in Afghanistan: An Interview with Faiz Ahmed`
Writing the Histories of People in Motion: An Interview with Laura Madokoro
Interviews | November 14, 2018

Writing the Histories of People in Motion: An Interview with Laura Madokoro

Laura Madokoro spotlights the history of migrants leaving the post-1949 People's Republic of China for the then-British colony of Hong Kong and beyond. This movement—and the millions of people who fled China—was largely ignored, especially when compared to displaced peoples in Europe. In addition to recovering these stories, Dr. Madokoro argues that framed in the context of the Cold War they can tell us much about humanitarianism, geopolitics and the shadow of settler colonialism, from the Antipodes to North America and South Africa. We met with Laura Madokoro in Montreal, where she works as a historian at McGill University, and discussed the politics of migration during the global Cold War, the revelatory nature of language when describing people in motion, and her current and future research plans.

Read more about `Writing the Histories of People in Motion: An Interview with Laura Madokoro`
The Human Condition and the Laws of War: An Interview with Tanisha Fazal
Interviews | April 25, 2018

The Human Condition and the Laws of War: An Interview with Tanisha Fazal

Fazal argues warring parties have stopped filing formal declarations of war and signing interstate peace treaties in order to create ambiguity as to whether the laws of war apply. An important reason for this development, she claims, is the growing split between the 'lawmakers' (humanitarians) and 'lawtakers' (soldiers). With the declining percentage of military representatives at lawmaking conferences, the laws of war have become increasingly restrictive on those applying them in times of war.

Read more about `The Human Condition and the Laws of War: An Interview with Tanisha Fazal`
Acts of Faith: Talking Religion, Law, and Empire with Dr. Anna Su
Interviews | August 24, 2017

Acts of Faith: Talking Religion, Law, and Empire with Dr. Anna Su

The history of America's interest in religious freedom abroad is the focus of Dr. Anna Su's first book, Exporting Freedom: Religious Liberty and American Power (2016). As Su shows, the US has a long history of intervening in countries on behalf of religious freedom. Su tracks the development of official government policies toward religious freedom: first as part of its "civilizing mission" in the Philippines from 1898, then in the democratization of Japan after World War II, and finally through the championing of human rights in Iraq and elsewhere. Working at the intersection of history and law, Su is currently Associate Professor in the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law. She previously earned an SJD from Harvard Law School, and worked as a law clerk for the Philippine Supreme Court and a consultant to the Philippine government negotiating panel with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Read more about `Acts of Faith: Talking Religion, Law, and Empire with Dr. Anna Su`
Human Rights and the Global South: A Conversation with Steven L. B. Jensen
Interviews | July 17, 2017

Human Rights and the Global South: A Conversation with Steven L. B. Jensen

Viewed from today's perspective, it might seem like it's only recently that the US has ceded global leadership on human rights. But, as Dr. Steven L. B. Jensen shows in his book The Making of International Human Rights: The 1960s, Decolonization, and the Reconstruction of Global Values (2016), the history of human rights was never simply a story of American or Western hegemony. Moving the locus of study to Jamaica, Ghana, the Philippines, Liberia and beyond, Jensen argues that human rights were as shaped from within the Global South as they were from without. In Jensen's words, actors from the Global South "gave a master class in international human rights diplomacy to both the Eastern and the Western actors."

Read more about `Human Rights and the Global South: A Conversation with Steven L. B. Jensen`
From the Banality of Evil to the Ambivalence of Good: Discussing the History of Human Rights in International Politics with Jan Eckel
Interviews | May 17, 2015

From the Banality of Evil to the Ambivalence of Good: Discussing the History of Human Rights in International Politics with Jan Eckel

When, this past summer, the Russian Federation began sending so-called "humanitarian convoys" into the militarily occupied People's Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, it was not clear whether the gesture marked the ultimate success or failure of humanitarianism and human rights as an international discourse. Half a century prior to the conflict, activists around the world despaired that both decolonization and East-West détente had created a world in which states, whether capitalist or socialist, colonial or post-, were free to abuse or murder their citizens at will without international protests.

Over the next three decades, however, the concept of human rights–long present but often impotent–enjoyed a soaring takeoff in prestige, and by the mid-1990s governments were quick to speak of "humanitarian interventions" or humanitarian bombing campaigns. Most spectacularly, the concept of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) has been bandied about as an international norm (if one rejected by China and Russia) to justify potential incursions into Libya or what remains of the Syrian state. In a world in which everything from familiar realpolitik clashes to debates over immigration policy (as many Kosovars seek asylum in Germany) expresses itself in a language of human rights, have only the costumes changed while the actors stay the same?

Read more about `From the Banality of Evil to the Ambivalence of Good: Discussing the History of Human Rights in International Politics with Jan Eckel`
Down Under, Transnational, Global: Exploring Russian and Soviet History with Philippa Hetherington
Interviews | February 12, 2015

Down Under, Transnational, Global: Exploring Russian and Soviet History with Philippa Hetherington

Philippa Hetherington explores the emergence of "trafficking in women" as a specific crime in fin-de-siècle Russia, arguing that the legal battle against sex trafficking needs to be understood in terms of larger, global dynamics not unique to just Russia.

Read more about `Down Under, Transnational, Global: Exploring Russian and Soviet History with Philippa Hetherington`
Of Nation-States and the United States: An Interview with Ryan Irwin
Interviews | January 20, 2015

Of Nation-States and the United States: An Interview with Ryan Irwin

Understanding the present and future of American internationalism requires understanding its past–not only through the lens of America, moreover, but understanding how the American project interacted with exogenous shifts and shocks to the international system, too–the ebb and flow of German, then Russian power, or decolonization, for example.

Read more about `Of Nation-States and the United States: An Interview with Ryan Irwin`

Featured Blog Posts

Conference Report: Russia's Global Legal Trajectories: International Law in Eurasia's Past and Present (University College London, 16-17 February 2018).
Conference Reports | June 6, 2018

Conference Report: Russia's Global Legal Trajectories: International Law in Eurasia's Past and Present (University College London, 16-17 February 2018).

On the 16th and 17th of February 2018, the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) at University College London (UCL) hosted an international workshop on "Russia's Global Legal Trajectories: International Law in Eurasia's Past and Present". Organized by Dr. Philippa Hetherington (UCL) with the generous support of the British Academy for Arts and Sciences and Pushkin House, the workshop was dedicated to the history of legal issues in Russia from the Russian Empire, Soviet Union and Russian Federation. The workshop lasted for two days and consisted of 6 panels and a total of 14 speakers. It united historians with legal scholars, which provided a rich basis for discussions of issues of legality at various points in Russian history.

Read more about `Conference Report: Russia's Global Legal Trajectories: International Law in Eurasia's Past and Present (University College London, 16-17 February 2018).`
This website is using cookies to provide a good browsing experience

These include essential cookies that are necessary for the operation of the site, as well as others that are used only for anonymous statistical purposes, for comfort settings or to display personalized content. You can decide for yourself which categories you want to allow. Please note that based on your settings, not all functions of the website may be available.

Privacy Policy Imprint
This website is using cookies to provide a good browsing experience

These include essential cookies that are necessary for the operation of the site, as well as others that are used only for anonymous statistical purposes, for comfort settings or to display personalized content. You can decide for yourself which categories you want to allow. Please note that based on your settings, not all functions of the website may be available.

Privacy Policy Imprint
Your cookie preferences have been saved.