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  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: I think it is difficult to contest that the most important state player in world affairs over the last one hundred years – and consistently so over this period – has been the United States of America. World War I – into which, to borrow from Christopher Clark's justly celebrated book, we 'sleepwalked' – marks a useful starting point. It is not only the fairly important role America played in bringing WWI to an end that signals the beginning of this era, but also the no less important role it played in shaping the aftermath. Wilson's 14 points were considered at the time 'idealistic' by some of the yet-to-be 'Old Powers'. But by dismantling the Ottoman Empire through the principle of self-determination (not at that time a universal legally binding norm) it was an early swallow to the demise, a mere generation later, of all other colonial empires and the truly decisive reshaping of the balance of power in the post-WWII world. The US played an equally cardinal role in ideating and realizing the United Nations Organization and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – two lynchpins of our current world order.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Gaza
  • Author: Mónica García-Salmones Rovira
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The article examines the substance and form of 20th century positivist international law; in particular the way in which each determines the other. The text describes the turn to interests in international law, which evolved slowly in scope and depth. By examining Lassa Oppenheim's focus on 'common interests' that united states and Hans Kelsen's focus on the 'struggle of interests' that constituted politics, the article studies two phenomena produced by the foundational role taken by interests during the 20th century. First, this role contributed to putting an end to the moral discussion about the treatment of native populations. Secondly, it curbed debate about a common political project for a global order, thus creating conformity characterized by abuse of power – all in the name of the neutrality of positivist law. This article suggests that the work of these two leading theoreticians in the field has contributed to the shaping of the legal theory of mainstream positivist international law, and seeks to foreground discussions about the different theories on the role of law in politics. In this manner it aims to help reconceptualize law in such a way as to bring about a situation in which discussions of a common political project for the international arena are more central.
  • Topic: International Law, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Andrew Williams
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The orthodox view of the ECHR and its Court as regime in the context of both the EU and UK has been that it has considerable value albeit with systemic flaws. The purpose of this article is to challenge this orthodoxy. Four inter-related submissions are made: that the ECHR has failed human rights conceptually (1); 'good' or lauded decisions of the ECtHR cannot remedy or sufficiently counter-balance this conceptual failure (2); 'bad' decisions further expose and exacerbate the failure (3); the procedural problems of the ECHR regime may contribute to the underlying failure of concept but their resolution cannot solve it (4). These submissions are to provoke a more intense assessment of value and how such value could be enhanced. It may be too late to see any influence on the accession process but this does not reduce the relevance of the critique for the future of human rights in both the EU and the UK. Ultimately an approach to the ECHR system needs to determine whether it continues to be lauded or its influence resisted (thus seeking reform or replacement - the alternative candidates being the EU Charter and/or a national Bill of Rights) and retained only as an iconic scheme of moral importance.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Congyan Cai
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Great Powers (GPs) have always been prominent in international relations. Their rise and fall often lead to structural transformations of international relations. In the past decade, the world has witnessed the rise of some New GPs (NGPs), which primarily consist of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS). While the effect of the supremacy of the United States, an Old GP (OGPs), on international law has been examined extensively since 2000, international lawyers have hardly discussed how the rise of NGPs may shape and reshape international law. This article endeavours to examine the implications for such rise that stem from the rise of NGPs. In particular, as an 'insider' from an NGP, the author reviews the latest development in China's international legal policy and practice.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Law
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Rein Müllerson
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Although the sub-title of the book indicates that the authors are not going to deal with all the legal issues arising in the context of a 'privatization' of warfare, the book, and not only the first chapter by Eugenio Cusumano on the policy prospects of regulating private military and security companies (PMSCs), throws its net wider than the title suggests. And rightly so. The privatization of warfare is a consequence and an element of the post-Cold War triumph of capitalism, and especially its neo-liberal advocates' tendency to privatize and deregulate all and everything. It is not by chance that PMSCs have mushroomed in the heartland of neoliberalism – the USA – faithfully followed by its Anglo-Saxon brethren on this side of the Atlantic. As the book specifies, in 2009 there were approximately 119,706 Department of Defense contractors in Iraq, compared with about 134,571 uniformed personnel. The authors accept the privatization of various functions of the state, including its 'monopoly of violence', to be almost inevitable. Nevertheless, they call for stronger and tighter regulation of the status and functions of PMSCs and control over their activities. They also show that though often new norms may be needed, in many cases existing laws, and their stricter and sometimes more creative application, may serve the purpose. The book concludes that 'many private military and security companies are operating in a “gray zone”, which is not defined at all, or at the very least not clearly defined, by international legal norms'.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Günther Auth
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Global governance has been the buzzword for many internationalists for quite some time now, and the United Nations has been one of the primordial focal points in controversies about global order. This prominence of the UN has been especially remarkable in the context of deliberations about the legality and legitimacy of military force. For, despite the growing importance of the US as the world's most capable superpower, internationalists have not been muted by voices stressing the impossibility of successfully grappling with power-based interests and high-political considerations of predominant states through international law and organization. The emergence of a unipolar moment, a constellation supposedly characterized by a high concentration of military capabilities and widespread scepticism as regards the fruitfulness of multilateralism in the US has rather enticed many commentators to ponder all the more seriously the potential role of multilateral institutions, such as the UN – as a mediating structure vis-à-vis national interests, as a legitimacy-conferring agent the main function of which it is to rationalize the regime of the great powers, or as a potential counterweight to US-American unilateralism. The author of the book under review adds to this list as he endeavours to show that, after the end of the Cold War in 1990, the Secretariat of the UN repeatedly championed views that brought it into conflict with the US and other influential member states of the UN. Based on his own experience as a staff member in the Office of Legal Affairs since 1973, as the Director of the UN Secretariat's Office of Legal Counsel since 1988, and as an Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs of the United Nations from 1998 to 2005, he delivered The Sir Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lectures at Cambridge University in 2008, in which he made a strong point for an independent role for the UN Secretariat as regards questions concerning the legality and legitimacy of military force.
  • Political Geography: United States, United Nations
  • Author: Elisa Morgera
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The interaction between bilateral and multilateral action is evolving in the context of 'global environmental law' – a concept that is emerging from the promotion of environmental protection as a global public good through a plurality of legal mechanisms relying on a plurality of legal orders. The notion of global public goods can thus help one better to understand recent bilateral initiatives aimed at supporting the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements and the decisions of their compliance mechanisms. Innovative linkages between the compliance system under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and bilateral trade agreements recently concluded by the European Union and the US provide an example. Innovative opportunities for bilateral initiatives supporting the implementation of the 2010 Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing are likely to lead to even more complex inter-relationships between different legal orders. This new approach to bilateralism that aims to support the interests of the international community can be assessed in the context of earlier debates on unilateralism, with a view to emphasizing the role of international law in the identification and delivery of global public goods, and the role of global environmental law in understanding the interactions among a plurality of legal orders.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Petros C. Mavroidis, Juan A. Marchetti
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The Uruguay Round services negotiations saw the light of day amidst pressures from lobbies in developed countries, unilateral retaliatory actions, and ideological struggle in the developing world. The final outcome, the GATS, certainly characterized by a complex structure and awkward drafting here and there, is not optimal but is an important first step towards the liberalization of trade in services. This article traces the GATS negotiating history, from its very beginning in the late 1970s, paying particular attention to the main forces that brought the services dossier to the multilateral trading system (governments, industries, and academics), and the interaction between developed and developing countries before and during the Uruguay Round. We will follow the actions, positions, and negotiating stances of four trading partners – Brazil, the European Union, India, and the United States – that were key in the development of the GATS. Finally, we will, indicatively at least, try to attribute a 'paternity' (or, rather, a 'maternity') to some key features and provisions of the agreement.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, India, Brazil
  • Author: Dr. Kalliopi Chainoglou
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Cooperating for Peace and Security presents a comprehensive collection of essays on multilateral security cooperation since 1989. Leading experts on wide-ranging topics within the ambit of international security and international cooperation analyse the complex relationship between multilateralism and United States security interests.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Marco Dani
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: In FIAMM and Fedon the European Court of Justice has ruled that Community firms hit by US trade sanctions authorized by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body are not entitled to compensation from EC political institutions. The article discusses the cases in the background of current debates on the attitude of the Court of Justice towards international law and, more broadly, on European legal pluralism. From this standpoint, it provides a critical assessment of the legal issues involved in this litigation – internal status of WTO obligations, scope for manoeuvre of EC political institutions in international trade relations, liability for unlawful and lawful conduct – and offers a comparative analysis of its possible solutions, suggesting that a finding of liability for lawful conduct would have been a preferable outcome in both theoretical and substantive terms.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe