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  • Author: Stefan B. Kirmse
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: My reading of The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law, edited by Bardo Fassbender and Anne Peters, has undoubtedly been framed by my own field of research. This field is not international law, but the historical anthropology of Russia and Eurasia and includes changing legal practice in a context of increasing global connectedness. My review is therefore not intended to relate the Oxford Handbook to the wider historiography of international law, which I leave to other contributions in this symposium; it is meant to offer an external perspective on the question of Eurocentric analysis. The editors of the Handbook have identified Eurocentrism as one of the key challenges to overcome in the study of international law.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Russia, Persia
  • Author: Nahed Samour
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Overcoming Eurocentrism is one of the self-proclaimed aims of the editors of The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law. In the following, I shall offer a critique of the Handbook from a largely Islamic international law perspective as (but) one example of a supranational non-European legal system. The depth of the volume covering a variety of times, spaces, and themes provides us with a much awaited tool against the 'gaps' and the 'forgetfulness' of how today's doctrines and practices of international law came about, not shying away from the voices that question the narrative of international law serving peace and justice. The Handbook is therefore laudable for a number of things.
  • Topic: International Law, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Will Hanley
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The Oxford Handbook is a welcome and necessary intervention in the history of international law. In the introduction, the editors signal their reformist programme: out with the progressive, triumphalist narrative; in with the dark side of international law and its side tracks outside the European experience. In addition to this programme, the project displays two further signs of its serious intent to change the field. First, the authors embarked on a truly collective project, including a week of face-to-face consultation, in a rare effort to define a reasonably unified agenda. Scholarly redirection is a social as well as an intellectual undertaking, and the community built around this volume marks its purposefulness. Secondly, the book's scope is massive: more than five dozen chapters, more than three dozen authors, and more than 1,000 pages of text provide the bulk necessary to accomplish the paradigm shift that the editors intend. The extensive range of the book, especially in its 'Regions' section, does what is necessary to transform globalizing intent into actuality. It is a foundational volume, and any scholarly edifice building upon it will have a broader footprint than was previously possible.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • 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: Susannah Wilcox
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: There is growing evidence that climate change-related impacts like rising sea levels, higher storm surges, and changing rainfall patterns are exacerbating existing vulnerabilities like poverty, isolation, and resource scarcity, and may eventually leave small island states uninhabitable, causing the displacement of entire populations. Among those particularly at risk are low-lying coral atoll states like Kiribati, Tuvalu, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean, and the Republic of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean.
  • Topic: Poverty
  • Political Geography: Europe, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Maldives
  • 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: James G. Devaney
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Quality Control in Fact-Finding is, above all else, a very welcome addition to the literature on international fact-finding. Whilst there has been a marked increase in the number of fact-finding inquiries established in the last couple of decades, this has not been matched by a similar increase in the number of scholarly studies of such inquiries. In light of both the number and high-profile nature of such inquiries, the absence of scholarship focusing squarely on the contemporary role of inquiries up to the present day seems like an oversight.
109. Bhopal
  • Author: Keith Ekiss
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Narayan told me about the city in India where he once studied, a literary centre known for festivals and lively debates, crowds gathering to hear the poetry readings which, he bragged, went on forever. But when he spoke the name, my face must have shifted. Yes, he said, you've heard about the gas leak. In December, clouds covered the city and its lakes. Warnings sounded and he walked uphill to find a place above the clouds, passing many who didn't know better than to take deep breaths, because the toxins left them short of breath, drawing in the yellow poison. I didn't ask who he lost among the dead. He kept apologizing, embarrassed, repeating a story I'd heard before. All he wanted to tell me, he said, was that wherever you went today it seemed like no one read anymore.
  • Political Geography: Bhopal
  • Author: JHHW
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: In an earlier Editorial I speculated on the potential transformative effect that the 2014 elections to the European Parliament might have on the democratic fortunes of Europe. I spoke of promise and risk. So now the results are out. How should we evaluate them?