Saturday, September 3, 2016

Rixen, Viola, & Zürn: Historical Institutionalism and International Relations: Explaining Institutional Development in World Politics

Thomas Rixen (Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg - Political Science), Lora Anne Viola (Freie Universität Berlin - Political Science), & Michael Zürn (WZB Berlin Social Science Center; Freie Universität Berlin - Political Science) have published Historical Institutionalism and International Relations: Explaining Institutional Development in World Politics (Oxford Univ. Press 2016). Contents include:
  • Thomas Rixen & Lora Viola, Historical Institutionalism and International Relations: Towards Explaining Change and Stability in International Institutions
  • Tim Büthe, Historical Institutionalism and Institutional Development in the EU: The Development of Supranational Authority over Government Subsidies (State Aid)
  • Orfeo Fioretos, Retrofitting Financial Globalization: The Politics of Intense Incrementalism After 2008
  • Tine Hanrieder, Regionalization in the World Health Organization: Locking in a Pan American Head-Start
  • Alexandru Grigoresco, State Participation in the League of Nations Council and UN Security Council: Successful vs. Unsuccessful Reform Efforts
  • Manuela Moschella & Antje Vetterlein, Self-Reinforcing and Reactive Path Dependence: Tracing the IMF's Path of Policy Change
  • Theresa Squatrito, Thomas Sommerer, & Jonas Tallberg, Transnational Access to International Organizations 1950-2010: Structural Factors and Critical Junctures
  • Michael Zürn, Historical Institutionalism and International Relations - Strange Bedfellows?

Friday, September 2, 2016

Moyn: The End of Human Rights History

Samuel Moyn (Harvard Univ. - Law and History) has posted The End of Human Rights History (Past & Present, forthcoming), a response to Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann's essay Human Rights and History. Here's the introduction:

The sociology of intellectual argument, for all of its strides forward in the intervening century, has not come far since Arthur Schopenhauer’s glum observation that truth most often enjoys ‘only a short victory celebration between the two long periods of time when it is condemned as paradoxical or disparaged as trivial’. Discovered since is that the truth is hostage not just to banalization but also to specialization: the hectic journey from paradox to disparagement that Schopenhauer portrayed occurs as new fields run through a familiar dynamic of excitement and exhaustion, before new generations of themes and topics seize their place. As a field normalizes, all the available moves within it are sooner or later made. When the last square is occupied, it is usually a sign that the game is about to complete its transit from vital to moribund. A historiography has only a short victory celebration between two long periods of time when it is unimaginable for scholars to pursue it in the first place and it is marginalized for lacking opportunities to innovate.

Human rights history has enjoyed a historiographical victory — a small place in the sun — in recent years. ‘If historians have argued in the recent past . . . about the nature of the French Revolution of 1789 or, in more general terms, about the impact of the linguistic turn on our attempts to construct artefacts of historical truth out of language’, Martin Conway recently observed, ‘we now find ourselves debating the way in which human rights emerged from the Second World War onwards as an intellectual preoccupation, a focus of political campaigns, and a reference point of inter-state and global diplomacy’. For that matter, classical, medieval and early modern historians have also got in on the act; and, long before the Second World War, the historiography of the French Revolution itself has famously been redefined in terms of its significance for the birth of human rights. It has been an exciting historiographical moment. Anyone schooled in Schopenhauer’s pessimism, however, will always have an eye on the horizon, looking for when the sun will begin to set.

Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann’s recent proposal in these pages to centre the historiography of human rights on the 1990s is brilliant, showing the light that the field still allows the intrepid. The past of the Greeks or Jews, medieval Christians or early modern philosophers, Atlantic revolutionaries or anti-slavery activists, American internationalists or scourges of empire, had once been treated as a poor source for the contemporary human rights revolution compared to east European dissidents seeking a post-political strategy of resistance, Latin American exiles on the run from deadly authoritarianism, north Atlantic advocates anxious for moral engagement with clean hands after too much Cold War and counter-insurgency, and an American president who pioneeringly called for a human rights foreign policy. But even the 1970s and 1980s, Hoffmann contends, were another era. It was in the 1990s, not before, that the day of human rights truly dawned.

It is always more startling to effect a paradigm shift than to engage in minor correction, and Hoffmann’s high-concept and incisive piece does it with wonderful success. Hoffmann’s proposal is easily more original than the more predictable quest, however well motivated, to restore the status quo ante by seeking the roots of human rights before the 1970s. And it is genuinely powerful. Yet my main response is that Hoffmann’s provocative resetting of the clock forward also looks to be the last interesting move available in the game of human rights history, at least until the rules are changed in ways no one currently anticipates.

Beyond its innovative leap into the 1990s, Hoffmann’s essay also, like a few other prior interventions, argues for much-needed reconciliation in the field of human rights history. In fact, more so even than in its chronological proposal, Hoffmann is persuasive in making a stress on the obvious novelty of international human rights politics (however dated) compatible with a more traditional search for some of their antecedents and avatars. Perhaps it is the combination of these often opposed impulses that makes Hoffmann’s stylish intervention most remarkable: even while offering the last interesting bid for novelty, it simultaneously provides reconciliation by incorporating all the prior arguments others have made before. For example, it helpfully portends a time when the nineteenth century figures more than it has hitherto in the initial construction of the field. Yet, like final innovation, complete reconciliation is also potentially bitter-sweet: it comes, if not at the end of history, then at least at the end of a historiography. As much in his innovation as in his reconciliation, then, Hoffmann may have let loose the owl of Minerva at the dusk of a field.

Notwithstanding my anxiety that novelty and obsolescence are often allies, the remainder of this admiring response will raise only a couple of doubts about Hoffmann’s proposals for both innovation and reconciliation. First, it will contend that even if the whole prior history of politics did little to anticipate the birth of human rights in the 1970s, the lines of continuity between the 1970s and the 1990s and therefore our own time are legitimate and strong. Secondly, and more briefly, it argues that while harmonious reconciliation is valuable, so that the full set of factors that led to the human rights revolution of our time deserves attention, historians are not saved by comprehensive inclusion from comparing and ranking those factors in importance. And if that is so, the debate over the period starting in the 1970s may remain the burning one relative to very distant or outright misleading antecedents supposedly accumulating since the beginning of time.

Call for Papers: International Organisations, Non-State Actors, Customary International Law

The Manchester International Law Centre has issued a call for papers for a workshop on "International Organisations, Non-State Actors, Customary International Law," to take place January 26-27, 2017. Here's the call:

The Role of International Organizations and Non-State Actors
in the Formation of Customary International Law

Although customary international law has continuously been on the agenda of international legal scholars, it seems uncontested that debates on custom have been reinvigorated by the work of the International Law Commission on the topic. Under the rapporteurship of Sir Michael Wood, the work of the Commission has fueled much interest within and outside academic circles. It is noteworthy that Sir Michael has personally encouraged input from academics over the past few years.

As the work of the Commission reaches the stage of consultation with States and other actors in late 2016, the Commission will be open to receiving additional comments on its Draft Conclusions on the identification of customary international law. In this context, the Manchester International Law Centre will organize a workshop with a view to generating new reflections on the role of international organizations and non-State actors in the formation of customary international law. Its objective is to bring scholars together and promote an exchange with the Commission with respect to these specific topics which are still under-researched and under-theorized.

Specific topics for discussion

The Manchester International Law Centre invites the submission of abstracts from scholars interested in the subject, with an emphasis on one of the following specific topics:

(i) The International Law Commission and Formation of CIL
(ii) The Theory of Formation of CIL
(iii) The Role of International Organizations in the Formation of CIL
(iv) The Role of Non-State Actors in the Formation of CIL.

In writing their contributions, authors are encouraged to engage directly with the positions of Sir Michael and those of the International Law Commission on the topic.

Guidance for the Submission of Abstracts

Abstracts must be between 750 and 1,000 words and be received by October 15, 2016. Authors selected for the workshop must submit a draft paper that must be between 6,000 and 8,000 words prior to the workshop. Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by October 25, 2016. Papers must be received by December 31, 2016. Abstracts and papers must be submitted to the following email address []. Submissions by early career researchers, that is those currently engaged in PhD research and those within five years of the award of their PhD, are especially welcome, but more senior colleagues are also encouraged to apply.

Venue and Expenses

The workshop will be held at the University of Manchester. The Manchester International Law Centre will provide one night accommodation to all speakers and reimburse travel expenses up to £150.00.

Participation and registration

Participation is open for non-speakers too but a limited number of places is available. All participants, whether prospective speakers or not, must register through Eventbrite.

Important Dates

01 September 2016 Call for abstracts
15 October 2016 Deadline for the submission of abstracts
25 October 2016 Notification of authors
31 December 2016 Deadline for submission of papers
26, 27 January 2017 Workshop


It is envisaged that the selected papers will published either as an edited volume or as a special edition of a journal.

Fitzpatrick, McCormack, & Morris: Australia's War Crimes Trials 1945-51

Georgina Fitzpatrick, Tim McCormack (Univ. of Melbourne - Law), & Narrelle Morris (Curtin Univ. - Law) have published Australia's War Crimes Trials 1945-51 (Brill | Nijhoff 2016). Here's the abstract:
This unique volume provides a detailed analysis of Australia’s 300 war crimes trials of principally Japanese accused conducted in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. Part I contains contextual essays explaining why Australia established military courts to conduct these trials and thematic essays considering various legal issues in, and historical perspectives on, the trials. Part II offers a comprehensive collection of eight location essays, one each for the physical locations where the trials were held. In Part III post-trial issues are reviewed, such as the operation of compounds for war criminals; the repatriation of convicted Japanese war criminals to serve the remainder of their sentences; and reflections of some of those convicted on their experience of the trials. In the final essay, a contemporary reflection on the fairness of the trials is provided, not on the basis of a twenty-first century critique of contemporary minimum standards of fair trial expected in the prosecution of war crimes, but by reviewing approaches taken in the trials themselves as well as from reactions to the trials by those associated with them. The essays are supported by a large collection of unique historical photographs, maps and statistical materials. There has been no systematic and comprehensive analysis of these trials so far, which has meant that they are virtually precluded from consideration as judicial precedent. This volume fills that gap, and offers scholars and practitioners an important and groundbreaking resource.

Special Issue: Mapping the Nexus between Transitional Justice and Peacebuilding

The latest issue of the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding (Vol. 10, no. 3, 2016) focuses on "Mapping the Nexus between Transitional Justice and Peacebuilding." Contents include:
  • Special Issue: Mapping the Nexus between Transitional Justice and Peacebuilding
    • Catherine Baker & Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik, Mapping the Nexus of Transitional Justice and Peacebuilding
    • Gearoid Millar & Jesse Lecy, Disciplinary Divides in Post-Conflict Justice and Peace: Tracking If and How we Share Ideas
    • Valerie Arnould, Transitional Justice in Peacebuilding: Dynamics of Contestation in the DRC
    • Jessie Hronešová, Might Makes Right: War-Related Payments in Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • Daniela Lai, Transitional Justice and Its Discontents: Socioeconomic Justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Limits of International Intervention
    • Christopher K. Lamont, Contested Governance: Understanding Justice Interventions in Post-Qadhafi Libya
    • Laura S. Martin, Practicing Normality: An Examination of Unrecognizable Transitional Justice Mechanisms in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone
    • Maria O’Reilly, Peace and Justice through a Feminist Lens: Gender Justice and the Women’s Court for the Former Yugoslavia

Jefferies: Marine Mammal Conservation and the Law of the Sea

Cameron S.G. Jefferies (Univ. of Alberta - Law) has published Marine Mammal Conservation and the Law of the Sea (Oxford Univ. Press 2016). Here's the abstract:

Marine mammal conservation remains a hot-button international environmental issue, but progress towards addressing key conservation and management issues within existing governance structures-most notably the International Whaling Commission-has stalled. Cameron Jefferies offers a fresh look at the future of international marine mammal management in a way that advances the ongoing dialog surrounding UNCLOS implementation and effective living marine resource management, while employing the comprehensive rational decision-making model as a theoretical framework.

Marine Mammal Conservation and the Law of the Sea lays out and critiques the marine mammal regulatory landscape. It introduces the rational conservation model, and details the modern threats to marine mammals, including climate change, by-catch, environmental pollution, ship strikes. Next, it discusses options for reform under UNCLOS and existing treaties, and finally introduces a new holistic treaty regime based on the rational conversation model, based in part on the UN Fish Stocks Agreement. This book will appeal to scholars, practitioners, and policymakers across public international law, international relations, political science, and environmental policy in the academic, governmental, IO, and NGO spheres.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

New Issue: Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht

The latest issue of the Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (Vol. 75, no. 3, 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Abhandlungen
    • Eröffnung der Wengler-Bibliothek für Internationales Recht an der Juristischen Fakultät der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin am 24. September 2015
    • Georg Nolte, Zur Eröffnung der Wengler-Bibliothek an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
    • Erik Jayme, Wilhelm Wengler als Internationalprivatrechtler – Eine persönliche Erinnerung und Würdigung –
    • Georg Ress, Wilhelm Wengler als Völkerrechtler – Eine persönliche Erinnerung und Würdigung –
    • Christian Kohler, Wilhelm Wengler (1907-1995) – Biographisch-zeitgeschichtliche Aspekte –
    • Felix Lange, Kolonialrecht und Gestapo-Haft – Wilhelm Wengler 1933-1945 –
    • Gunther Teubner, Transnationaler Verfassungspluralismus: Neun Variationen über ein Thema von David Sciulli
    • Emanuele Cimiotta, The Relevance of Erga Omnes Obligations in Prosecuting International Crimes
    • Till Markus, Die Problemwirksamkeit des internationalen Klimaschutzrechts – Ein Beitrag zur Diskussion um die Effektuierung völkerrechtlicher Verträge
    • Ayse-Martina Böhringer, Das neue Pariser Klimaübereinkommen - Eine Kompromisslösung mit Symbolkraft und Verhaltenssteuerungspotential

New Issue: Journal of World Investment & Trade

The latest issue of the Journal of World Investment & Trade (Vol. 17, no. 4, 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Special Issue: The Latin American Challenge to the Current System of Investor-State Dispute Settlement
    • Katia Fach Gómez & Catharine Titi, Introduction
    • Katia Fach Gómez & Catharine Titi, International Investment Law and ISDS: Mapping Contemporary Latin America
    • Facundo Pérez Aznar, Local Litigation Requirements in International Investment Agreements: Their Characteristics and Potential in Times of Reform in Latin America
    • Rodrigo Polanco Lazo, Systems of Legal Defence Used by Latin American Countries in Investment Disputes
    • Arnaud de Nanteuil, Green Latin America? Some Reflections on Environmental Issues in Latin America’s New Instruments of Investment Protection
    • José Gustavo Prieto Muñoz, The Rise of Common Principles for Investment in Latin America: Proposing a Methodological Shift for Investor-State Dispute Settlement
    • María José Luque Macías, Inter-State Investment Dispute Settlement in Latin America: Is There Space for Transparency?
    • María Gabriela Sarmiento, The UNASUR Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes and Venezuela: Will Both Ever See the Light at the End of the Tunnel?
    • José Manuel Álvarez Zárate & Rebecca Pendleton, The International Rule of Law in Latin American Investment Arbitration: UNASUR’s Advances in Arbitrator Appointment and Disqualification

Haque: Necessity and Proportionality in the Law of War

Adil Ahmad Haque (Rutgers Univ. - Law) has posted Necessity and Proportionality in the Law of War (in The Cambridge Handbook on Just War Theory, Larry May, Shannon Elizabeth Fyfe, & Eric Joseph Ritter eds., forthcoming). Here's the abstract:

International law constrains both the resort to military force and the conduct of hostilities. In both contexts, principles of necessity and proportionality limit the lawful use of lethal violence. The content of these principles remains controversial, both within each context and across contexts. This chapter aims to illuminate these controversies and to suggest how they should be resolved.

With respect to the law of force (the jus ad bellum), this chapter argues that necessity requires that states seeking to target non-state actors on the territory of another state must first seek the consent of the territorial state. Proportionality does not always permit states to use as much force as necessary to prevent or repel armed attacks, but instead requires that states balance the harm they expect to inflict against the harm they expect to prevent.

With respect to the law of armed conflict (the jus in bello), this chapter argues that military necessity does not authorize, justify, or otherwise provide a legal basis for acts of violence. Conversely, attackers must take precautions to avoid unnecessarily harming civilians, even at significant risk to themselves. Finally, an attack is proportionate only if it is reasonable to expect that it will prevent substantially more harm to attacking forces or to civilians than it will inflict on civilians.

Jenner & Truong: The South China Sea: A Crucible of Regional Cooperation or Conflict-making Sovereignty Claims?

C.J. Jenner (King's College London) & Tran Truong Thuy (Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam) have published The South China Sea: A Crucible of Regional Cooperation or Conflict-making Sovereignty Claims? (Cambridge Univ. Press 2016). Contents include:
  • Tran Truong Thuy, Introduction: sovereignty-based conflict or regional cooperation?
  • Geoffrey Till, The global significance of the South China Sea dispute
  • Rodolfo C. Severino, Global issues and national interests in the South China Sea
  • Renato Cruz De Castro, The Obama administration's strategic rebalancing in Asia: from a diplomatic to a strategic constrainment of an emergent China?
  • Mark J. Valencia, The South China Sea and the 'Thucydides trap'
  • Alice Ba & Ian Storey, Continuity and change in the South China Sea
  • Bonnie Glaser, Understanding the evolution of US-China-ASEAN relations: a US perspective
  • Vijay Sakhuja, India and the South China Sea
  • C.J. Jenner & Nguyen Hung Son, Domestic politics: the overlooked undercurrent in the South China Sea
  • Stein Tønnesson, The Tonkin Gulf Agreements: a model of conflict resolution?
  • Nguyen Thi Lan Anh, UNCLOS and maritime security in the South China Sea
  • Erik Franckx & Marco Benatar, Straight baselines around insular formations not constituting an archipelagic state
  • Robert C. Beckman & Leonardo Bernard, Disputed areas in the South China Sea: prospects for arbitration or advisory opinion
  • Carlyle A. Thayer, China's naval modernisation and US strategic rebalancing: implications for stability in the South China Sea
  • C. J. Jenner & Sukjoon Yoon, Sino-American rivalry in the South China Sea: is it time to form a maritime middle power cooperative?
  • Jon M. Van Dyke, Regional cooperation in the South China Sea
  • Kuan-Hsiung Wang, Fishery disputes and regional cooperation
  • C.J. Jenner, Conclusion: history, strategy and the South China Sea

Conference: 50 Years of the Two UN Human Rights Covenants: Legacies and Prospects

Today through Saturday, September 1-3, 2016, the Association of Human Rights Institutes will hold its 2016 conference, hosted by the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights at Utrecht University. The theme is: "50 Years of the Two UN Human Rights Covenants: Legacies and Prospects." The program is here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

New Issue: Journal of World Trade

The latest issue of the Journal of World Trade (Vol. 50, no. 4, 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Gabrielle Marceau, WTO and Export Restrictions
  • Axel Marx, Brecht Lein, & Nicolás Brando, The Protection of Labour Rights in Trade Agreements: The Case of the EU-Colombia Agreement
  • Ulrike Will, The Extra-Jurisdictional Effects of Environmental Measures in the WTO Law Balancing Process
  • Amrita Bahri, Handling WTO Disputes with the Private Sector: The Triumphant Brazilian Experience
  • Ming Du, Permitting Moral Imperialism? The Public Morals Exception to Free Trade at the Bar of the World Trade Organization
  • Sherzod Shadikhodjaev, Russia and Energy Issues under the WTO System
  • Jie (Jeanne) Huang, Silk Road Economic Belt: Can Old BITs Fulfil China’s New Initiative?

New Issue: Journal of Conflict Resolution

The latest issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution (Vol. 60, no. 7, October 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Christopher M. Sullivan, Undermining Resistance: Mobilization, Repression, and the Enforcement of Political Order
  • Monika Nalepa & Emilia Justyna Powell, The Role of Domestic Opposition and International Justice Regimes in Peaceful Transitions of Power
  • Yonatan Lupu, Why Do States Join Some Universal Treaties but Not Others? An Analysis of Treaty Commitment Preferences
  • Vincenzo Bove, Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, & Petros G. Sekeris, “Oil above Water”: Economic Interdependence and Third-party Intervention
  • Philip Arena & Anna O. Pechenkina, External Subsidies and Lasting Peace
  • Stine Aakre, Leif Helland, & Jon Hovi, When Does Informal Enforcement Work?

Jakobsen: Marine Protected Areas in International Law: An Arctic Perspective

Ingvild Ulrikke Jakobsen (Univ. of Tromsø - K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea) has published Marine Protected Areas in International Law: An Arctic Perspective (Brill | Nijhoff 2016). Here's the abstract:
Marine Protected Areas in International law – an Arctic Perspective, introduces and analyzes the legal rights and obligations of states under international law, using Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as a tool to protect marine biodiversity. The fragile Arctic marine environment is under growing pressure from climate change and the prospect of increasing human activity affecting previously untouched areas. The conservation of Arctic marine biodiversity is a pressing and global concern, not least because the melting of sea ice will have widespread effects. By analyzing regional cooperation through the OSPAR Convention and under the Arctic Council, Jakobsen examines the implementation of the global legal framework for biodiversity protection and conservation in the Arctic. The book has a particular focus on the possibilities of the states to regulate shipping within the MPAs, as the increasing shipping activities represent a major threat to the sensitive marine Arctic.

New Issue: International Organization

The latest issue of International Organization (Vol. 70, no. 3, Summer 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Articles
    • Hyeran Jo & Beth A. Simmons, Can the International Criminal Court Deter Atrocity?
    • Jakana L. Thomas, William Reed & Scott Wolford, The Rebels’ Credibility Dilemma
    • Jonathan Renshon, Status Deficits and War
    • Lisa Blaydes & Christopher Paik, The Impact of Holy Land Crusades on State Formation: War Mobilization, Trade Integration, and Political Development in Medieval Europe
    • Katerina Linos & Tom Pegram, The Language of Compromise in International Agreements
  • Review Essay
    • Janice Bially Mattern & Ayşe Zarakol, Hierarchies in World Politics

Kulesza: Due Diligence in International Law

Joanna Kulesza (Univ. of Lodz - Law) has published Due Diligence in International Law (Brill | Nijhoff 2016). Here's the abstract:
Due Diligence in International Law identifies due diligence as the missing link between state responsibility and international liability. Acknowledged in all legal fields, it ensures international peaceful cooperation and prevents significant transboundary harm, yet it has thus far not been comprehensively discussed in literature. The present volume fills this void. Kulesza identifies due diligence as a principle of international law and traces its evolution throughout centuries. The no-harm principle, key to identifying responsibility for transboundary harm, focal to international environmental law and applicable to e.g. combating terrorism, follows states’ obligation of due diligence in preventing foreign harm. This obligation, present in various treaty-based and customary regimes is argued to be a principle of international public law applicable to all obligations of conduct.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Puig: Blinding International Justice

Sergio Puig (Univ. of Arizona - Law) has posted Blinding International Justice (Virginia Journal of International Law, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:

The past twenty years have seen a tremendous rise in international dispute settlement mechanisms. As international adjudication has become more prominent and pervasive some of its most fundamental tenants have also come under deep scrutiny. Recently, a new debate has emerged regarding party-appointments — a widespread feature in international arbitration. While international arbitrators, like national judges, are supposed to be neutral and impartial and to exercise independent judgment, practitioners and scholars concur that arbitrators often lean in favor of the nominating party. As a result of concerns over lack of impartiality, “blind appointments” — wherein nominees do not know who appointed them — has been suggested as a corrective intervention in the arbitration field.

This Article explores the causes, implementation challenges, and possible limitations of blind appointments in arbitration. It makes three contributions: First, it proposes a theoretical framework to understand the different biases introduced with the nomination of judges in international adjudication — compensation, affiliation, selection and epistemic effects. Second, based on data of international investment arbitration proceedings, it shows that blinding is a promising intervention to target affiliation effects while maintaining the benefits resulting from the parties’ participating in the tribunal’s formation. Third, it explains how blind appointments may have important limits as to their corrective properties and explores the conditions that are more favorable for the success of this proposal in other fields of international adjudication.

At a more general level, this intervention is an important precursor to understanding the importance of conceptual and experimental research in international adjudication. It attempts to motivate further empirical investigations to address debates over biases and judicial politics in international courts and tribunals.

Voeten: International Organization Membership and Militarized Conflict: A Distributive Perspective

Erik Voeten (Georgetown Univ. - School of Foreign Service) has posted International Organization Membership and Militarized Conflict: A Distributive Perspective. Here's the abstract:
What explains the correlation between membership in International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) and the occurrence of militarized disputes? Existing theories argue that IGOs provide information, solve commitment problems, and socialize states. I offer an alternative take, which highlights the distributive implications of IGO memberships. The international environment is both competitive and interdependent. If some states create a social surplus through institutionalized cooperation, then this may redefine the competitive landscape and create disadvantages for other states. First, IGOs typically advance principles, norms, rules, and policies that fit the ideologies of some actors better than others. Effective IGOs both increase coordination among members and intensify gaps with excluded parties. Second, IGOs sometimes insulate members from coercive sanctions and enhance opportunities for collective actions against outsiders. I examine two observable implications of this theory. Shared IGO memberships correlate with reduced conflict onset among pairs of states that include a major power but not among contiguous states or states involved in territorial disputes. Second, divergence in overall IGO membership portfolios correlates with conflict. An implication is that more IGOs do not necessarily mean more peace. IGO memberships affect the distribution of conflict.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Call for Papers: Cognitive Sociology, Culture and International Law

iCourts, Centre of Excellence for International Courts has issued a call for papers for a workshop on "Cognitive Sociology, Culture and International Law," to be held April 28-29, 2017, in Copenhagen. Here's the call:

Call for Papers:
Cognitive Sociology, Culture, and International Law

iCourts, Centre of Excellence for International Courts
University of Copenhagen

28-29 April 2017

Workshop Theme

The past few decades have seen growth in behavioural approaches in the social sciences. In this new behavioural revolution, cognitive psychology, behavioural economics, and sociologists of culture have all paid increasing attention to the role of cognition, focusing in the main on decision-making, both with regard to everyday routines and in the context of risk and uncertainty. This third workshop on the sociology of international law aims to break open the study of interactions between various cognitive processes and the formation, interpretation and implementation of international law.

Sociological work on culture and cognition is particularly promising here, with Bourdieu’s work in particular said to have “supercharged” a cognitive turn in sociology by emphasizing the formation and effects of habitus (Cerulo 2010). Yet sociological work on cognition extends beyond this. Research on cognition explains, for example, how people classify and make decisions based on their social contexts (Zerubavel 1997); how individuals draw on cultural schemas as a toolkit for action, both in settled and unsettled moments (Swidler 2001); how culture offers individuals skills, habits, and practices; the work of moral grammars, justifications, and reasoning styles such as analogies; how collective memory is built and sustained; and how beliefs and values motivate action. Some of this work in sociology also draws on related fields, prominently cognitive sociology, behavioural economics and neuroscience.

We believe that international law is a prime locale for bridging insights from this research on cognition with research on institutions. This would complement recent moves to draw together work in cognitive psychology and behavioural economics with the study of international relations (e.g., Hafner-Burton, Hughes and Victor 2013; Stein 2013). Our hope is to include papers that investigate both how individual cognition shapes institutions and how institutions shape cognition. We see these possibilities along several dimensions that we intend to explore at the workshop:

1. Decision-Making, Cognitive Bias, and Practices: Cognition is, primarily, an approach for studying decision-making and developing strategies for action. What can we learn from this field for international law? For instance, international adjudicators are frequently required to process and categorize volumes of information, and develop strategies for action in perceiving and processing the evidence. Similarly, certain international instruments aim to regulate some risky activities while bracketing other hazardous activities – raising questions over how risks are evaluated in international legal regulation and adjudication, a prime concern of research in cognitive psychology.

2. 'Optical communities', organizational identities and collective memories: Views of collective memory are central to the fast growing field of international criminal law. And beyond this, how would collective memories shape a collective identity of an international organization or alter members’ identities? The ‘optical communities’ (Zerubavel 1997) of which we are part affect cognitive processes, including how we attend to some features of reality, while leaving other aspects 'out of frame'. Similarly, how can we understand the cognitive elements that explain the social and professional trajectories of international legal actors: what underlies the international legal habitus? 'Is there an international legal habitus, and what forms does it take?

3. Communication, Routines, and Knowledge Formats: Underlying much of this is the question of how legal modes of thought and reasoning can be explored given what we know from research on decision-making, estimation, and cognitive biases. What role does analogical reasoning play in international law? What forms of justification are deployed in international legal settings? How would international organization norms qua language transform members’ communicative competence into administrative power? International organizations often engage “(metaphorical) framing” to facilitate meaning generation and schematization of knowledge. How do these legal forms of reasoning interact with cognitive biases and decision-making? And how do processes of anthropomorphization – whether of a state or an international organization – affect the work of international law by bestowing cognitive properties that presume intentionality and consciousness?

4. International law as a domain of expertise: International legal practices produce and disseminate expert knowledge, and many would agree that experts play significant parts in the drama of global governance, both by framing with world for ‘decision-makers’, and by interpreting and implementing their ‘decisions’. But more work is needed to map the modalities of their practice, and to reflect on alternative possibilities. Where does an acknowledgement of the centrality of expertise lead us in rethinking spaces and processes of global governance? What theoretical resources are available to lawyers to conceptualise the nature of ‘expertise’ and the roles that it plays in collective structures of governance? And what are the different forms and categories of ‘knowledge’ or ‘expertise’ which are particularly worth of scholarly attention?

Academics and experts in various stages of their careers are invited to submit abstract exploring various interactions between sociological cognitive processes and international law.


The workshop is hosted by iCourts, Centre of Excellence for International Courts, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen on 28-29 April 2017.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to Sungjoon Cho at <>, by 1 November 2016, and must include the author’s name, affiliation, and full contact information. Decisions regarding inclusion in the workshop program will be sent by 15 December, 2016. Those presenting will be expected to provide short discussion papers (3,000-4,000 words) by 15 March, 2017.

We regret that we are unable to cover participants' travel and accommodation expenses. Limited assistance might be available for junior scholars who are unable to secure funding from other sources.

Steering Committee:

Mikael Madsen, iCourts, University of Copenhagen
Sungjoon Cho, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
Moshe Hirsch, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Andrew Lang, London School of Economics
Ron Levi, University of Toronto

New Volume: Netherlands Yearbook of International Law

The latest volume of the Netherlands Yearbook of International Law (Vol. 46, 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • Jus Cogens: Quo Vadis
    • Maarten den Heijer & Harmen van der Wilt, Jus Cogens and the Humanization and Fragmentation of International Law
    • Dinah Shelton, Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Jus Cogens
    • Ulf Linderfalk, Understanding the Jus Cogens Debate: The Pervasive Influence of Legal Positivism and Legal Idealism
    • Jean d’Aspremont, Jus Cogens as a Social Construct Without Pedigree
    • Alexander Orakhelashvili, Audience and Authority—The Merit of the Doctrine of Jus Cogens
    • Stefan Kadelbach, Genesis, Function and Identification of Jus Cogens Norms
    • Thomas Kleinlein, Jus Cogens as the ‘Highest Law’? Peremptory Norms and Legal Hierarchies
    • Elizabeth Santalla Vargas, In Quest of the Practical Value of Jus Cogens Norms
    • Louis J. Kotzé, Constitutional Conversations in the Anthropocene: In Search of Environmental Jus Cogens Norms
    • Cathryn Costello & Michelle Foster, Non-refoulement as Custom and Jus Cogens? Putting the Prohibition to the Test
    • Thomas Cottier, Improving Compliance: Jus Cogens and International Economic Law
    • Valentina Vadi, Jus Cogens in International Investment Law and Arbitration
  • Dutch Practice in International Law
    • Cedric Ryngaert, Immunities of International Organizations Before Domestic Courts: Reflections on the Collective Labour Case Against the European Patent Organization
    • Roel Schutgens & Joost Sillen, Judicial Review on the Island of Saint Martin: An Example for The Kingdom of the Netherlands?
    • Jasper Krommendijk, Between Pretence and Practice: The Dutch Response to Recommendations of International Human Rights Bodies

Call for Papers: Neutrality in the History of International Law - Myths and Evolving Realities

The Interest Group on the History of International Law of the European Society of International Law has issued a call for papers for a workshop to be held in conjunction with the ESIL Research Forum, March 30-31, 2017, at Grenada Law School. The theme is: "Neutrality in the History of International Law - Myths and Evolving Realities." Here's the call:

No law is neutral. Law is always a mirror of the value-system and the power structure underlying any given society at any point in time and international law has never been an exception to this rule. A different, and yet related matter, is the extent to which the law applies equally (or not) to all members of any given society, the extent to which these members participate as equals (or not) in the formation of international law and the extent to which the law is effectively (or not) applied in an objective and un-biased manner (what is, commonly known, as 'neutrally') by international bodies and adjudicators charged with applying it to international situations or with settling disputes between any given parties. The aspiration towards 'neutrality' (as such conceived) of international law in its quest for an ever-greater legitimacy, has, undoubtedly, evolved throughout different historical periods.

Neutrality in the history of international law can, on the other hand, also be understood as a legal institution. Neutrality as a legal institution was born as a synonym for emancipation from a rigorous moral top-down juridical-moral framework inherited from theology. Its theoretical blossoming went in parallel with the consolidation of the principle of sovereign equality of nations and the principle of non-intervention in domestic affairs during the transition of the classical law of nations to modern international law. Since the establishment of the first international institutions with universal and permanent character, neutrality as a legal institution has continued to evolve against the background provided by the ever-shifting chessboard of international relations and proliferating international institutions.

Finally, the relationship of neutrality and the history of international law can be also examined through the lenses of the neutrality (or lack of) of history writing itself. If all history is, as B. Croce noted, contemporary history (by which it is generally meant that all history writing is, in one degree or other, done from the perspective of the present and also that all history writing constitutes an intervention in the present) could any historical account possibly aspire to be considered a 'neutral' history of international law? And, if so, under what criteria?

The Interest Group of the History of International Law welcomes abstracts that engage critically with any of these dimensions of neutrality in the history of international law or a combination thereof in historical perspective by reference to relevant episodes in the history of international law and/or different historiographical schools.

Each submission should include:

  • An abstract of no more than 400 words, the intended language of presentation,
  • A short curriculum vitae containing the author’s name, institutional affiliation, contact information and e-mail address.

Applications should be submitted to both Ignacio de la Rasilla del Moral (; and Frederik Dhondt ( by 15th December 2016. All applicants will be notified of the outcome of the selection process by 15th January 2017.

Selection will be based on scholarly merit and with regard to producing an engaging workshop, without prejudice to gender, seniority, language or geographical location. Please note that the ESIL Interest Group on the History of International Law is unable to provide funds to cover the conference registration fee or related transport and accommodation costs.

More information on the Research Forum (30-31 March 2017) can be found on the website of the European Society of International Law or on the Granada Law School website.

Liivoja & McCormack: Routledge Handbook of the Law of Armed Conflict

Rain Liivoja (Univ. of Melbourne - Law) & Tim McCormack (Univ. of Melbourne - Law) have published Routledge Handbook of the Law of Armed Conflict (Routledge 2016). Contents include:
  • Fatou Bensouda, Foreword
  • Rain Liivoja & Tim McCormack, Introduction
  • Dino Kritsiotis, War and Armed Conflict: The Parameters of Enquiry
  • Frits Kalshoven, The History of International Humanitarian Law Treaty-Making
  • Caitlin Dwyer & Tim McCormack, Conflict Characterisation
  • Jann Kleffner, Sources of the Law of Armed Conflict
  • Nobuo Hayashi, Basic Principles
  • Noam Lubell & Nancie Prud’homme, Impact of Human Rights Law
  • Combatants Emily Crawford
  • David Turns, Military Objectives
  • Emanuela Chiara-Gillard, Protection of Civilians in the Conduct of Hostilities
  • Michelle Lesh, Direct Participation in Hostilities
  • Mirko Sossai, Conventional Weapons
  • Robert J Mathews, Chemical and Biological Weapons
  • Dieter Fleck, Nuclear Weapons in International Law
  • William J Fenrick, Methods of Land Warfare
  • David Letts & Rob McLaughlin, Law of Naval Warfare
  • Ian Henderson & Patrick Keane, Air and Missile Warfare
  • Chris Jenks, Detention under the Law of Armed Conflict
  • James P Benoit, Wounded and Sick, and Medical Services
  • Helen Durham & Eve Massingham, Women and War
  • John Tobin & Elliot Luke, Children and the Law of Armed Conflict: Looking beyond the Protection Paradigm
  • Jadranka Petrovic, Cultural Property
  • Roberta Arnold, The Protection of the Environment
  • Alison Duxbury, The Protection of Humanitarian Relief: The Legal Framework
  • Daphna Shraga, The Applicability of the Laws of Armed Conflict to Peacekeeping Operations
  • Eyal Benvenisti, Occupation and Territorial Administration
  • Elizabeth Chadwick, Neutrality Revisited
  • Kelisiana Thynne, The Role of the International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Shane Darcy, Reciprocity and Reprisals
  • Charles Garraway, State Responsibility
  • Bruce Oswald & Bethany Wellington, Reparations for Violations in Armed Conflict and the Emerging Practice of Making Amends
  • Rob Cryer, Individual Liability in International Law
  • Sasha Radin & Michael N Schmitt, Investigations under International Humanitarian Law
  • Jackson Nyamuya Maogoto, Role of International Courts and Tribunals
  • Luis Benavides, Universal Jurisdiction over War Crimes
  • Rain Liivoja, Kobi-Renée Leins & Tim McCormack, Emerging Technologies of Warfare
  • Nelleke van Amstel & Rain Liivoja, Private Military and Security Companies
  • Louise Arimatsu, The Rule of Law in War: A Liberal Project

Sunday, August 28, 2016

New Issue: Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy

The latest issue of the Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy (Vol. 19, no. 3, 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Special Issue: Wild Animals and Justice
    • Marilyn Matevia, Justice for All: Revisiting the Prospects for a Biocommunitarian Theory of Interspecies Justice
    • Lisa Kemmerer, Ethics and Eating Fishes
    • Helen Kopnina, Wild Animals and Justice: The Case of the Dead Elephant in the Room
    • Jason Wyckoff, Hierarchy, Global Justice, and Human–Animal Relations
    • Vishrut Kansal, The Curious Case of Nagaraja in India: Are Animals Still Regarded as “Property” With No Claim Rights?

Puig: Tobacco Litigation in International Courts

Sergio Puig (Univ. of Arizona - Law) has posted Tobacco Litigation in International Courts (Harvard International Law Journal, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:

For years, tobacco interests have played an important role in developing international law. Recently, cooperation among nations concerned with the risks and health consequences of smoking tobacco has resulted in the adoption of international treaties, regional directives, and common administrative and regulatory practices. As a result, a wave of litigation before international courts and tribunals, including the European and Andean Courts of Justice, Investor-State Tribunals, and the World Trade Organization’s dispute settlement body, has led to novel legal questions.

This Article is the first to trace, survey, and recount the history of tobacco litigation before international courts and tribunals and to assess its contribution to international law. In particular, it pays new attention to recent efforts by tobacco interests to challenge compelled speech by exporting the far-reaching Free Speech Clause of the United States into international law, especially in the context of marketing controls, mandatory graphic warnings, and “plain packaging” labels.

This Article shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, international courts and tribunals can play a central role in advancing and enhancing complex national, regional, and global regulations rather than eroding sovereign regulatory space. Complete deference to states’ policies, however, can also be risky as it may perpetuate the use of economic and political influence to distort the functioning of government. Hence, the history of international tobacco litigation reveals a more complex interrelationship between domestic institutions and international law than many scholars acknowledge.