The resurfacing interest in the New International Economic Order (NIEO) is mainly driven by the ambition of regaining a sense for possibilities of the past so as to question the present and to open up different futures. This ambition resonates with that core of critical thinking which pushes towards an appreciation of contingencies. What else was possible? When approaching this question of how it could have been, however, historical inquiries must not overstate the possibilities of different action at the expense of determining structures. On the international plane in particular they face narrow opportunities for inducing legal change though institutionalized politics. And critical historical inquiries need to counter a tendency towards excess nostalgia for that which was not. More than anything else, the history of the NIEO testifies to the great difficulties when trying to turn claims about contingency into compelling narratives. Another way of approaching the NIEO, however, does not place actual possibilities at its centre, but unrealized potentials.
Friday, August 25, 2017
Venzke: Possibilities of the Past: Histories of the NIEO and the Travails of Critique
Ingo Venzke (Univ. of Amsterdam - Law) has posted Possibilities of the Past: Histories of the NIEO and the Travails of Critique (Journal of the History of International Law, forthcoming). Here's the abstract: