History and Theory of International Law Workshops

bronze statue of Gandhi commemorating the centenary of the incident at the Pietermaritzburg Railway

This bronze statue of Gandhi commemorating the centenary of the incident at the Pietermaritzburg Railway Station was unveiled by Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Church Street, Pietermaritzburg, in June 1993. Photo in Public Domain, by Vishal Bhatia, New Delhi, India.

The IILJ History and Theory of International Law Workshops are presented with the support of the NYU Global Institute for Advanced Study, Project on International Legal Orders and their Histories.

2020

Covid 19 and the Scripts of Emergency Powers

On 18 May, the IILJ’s History and Theory of International Law Workshops and NYU’s Gallatin School held a virtual meeting on Covid 19 and the Scripts of Emergency Powers. Emergency measures enacted across the planet make it vital that scholars, administrators, and journalists grapple with multiple forms of emergency and the implications for executive power. The scholars convened are experts in emergency and crisis in the context of pronounced inequalities. These include past and contemporary colonial, settler colonial and imperial settings, as well as many others. A historical, transnational and relational perspective that highlights the problematique of ‘the routinization of emergency’ in peacetime, allows for critical questions in the current context, and to closely examine, and where warranted contest, long-term institutional changes enacted now in the wake of the pandemic. Convened and moderated by Vasuki Nesiah, Yael Berda and Karin Loevy.

The Morals of the Market: Human Rights and the Rise of Neoliberalism—An Afternoon Reading Session with Jessica Whyte

On 4 March, the IILJ History and Theory of International Law Workshops, the Gallatin Human Rights Initiative, and the JSD Program co-sponsored an afternoon reading session with Jessica Whyte on The Morals of the Market: Human Rights and the Rise of Neoliberalism. Why did the rise of human rights language in Anglo-American and European states in the 1970s coincide with the institutionalisation of neoliberalism? And why has the neoliberal age also been the age of human rights? Drawing on detailed archival research on the parallel histories of human rights and neoliberalism from the 1940s onwards, The Morals of the Market uncovers the place of human rights in neoliberal attempts to develop a moral framework for a market society. 

War and Algorithm

On 3 March, tthe IILJ’s History and Theory of International Law Workshops presented War and Algorithm. The book look at aspects of the emerging form of warfare from the perspectives of legal studies, philosophy, and visual studies. New military technologies are animated by fantasies of perfect knowledge, lawfulness, and vision that contrast sharply with the very real limits of human understanding, law, and vision. Thus, various kinds of violent acts are proliferating while their precise nature remains unclear. Especially man–machine ensembles, guided by algorithms, are operating in ways that challenge conceptual understanding. The authors Max Liljefors, Gregor Noll, and Daniel Steuer presented their contribution to understanding and resisting algorithmic warfare in ‘an emerging world of war’. Jessica Whyte and Thomas Streinz commented. 

Kelsen’s Contribution to Contemporary Philosophy of International Law

On 3 March, the IILJ’s History and Theory of International Law Workshops and the Contract Theory Colloquium hosted David Dyzenhaus for a discussion of his paper ‘Kelsen’s Contribution to Contemporary Philosophy of International Law’.

Private and Public Law & Organization of Agreements between States

On 27 February, the IILJ’s History and Theory of International Law Workshops co-sponsored a special session of Professor Richard Brooks’ Contract Theory and Law Colloquium with Julian Arato, David Dyzenhaus, and Michael Waibel. The topic of discussion was ‘Private and Public Law & Organization of Agreements between States’.

2019

International Legal Orders as Histories, China and the West

On 26 November, the IILJ’s History and Theory of International Law Workshops presented International Legal Orders as Histories, China and the West. Martti Koskenniemi discussed his article ‘Imagining the Rule of Law: Rereading the Grotian “Tradition”‘. Maria Adele Carrai discussed her book China and Sovereignty: A Genealogy of a Concept since 1840. Francesca Iurlaro and Zvi Ben-Dor Benite commented.

The Process of International Legal Reproduction: Inequality, Historiography, Resistance

On 18 November, the IILJ’s History and Theory of International Law Workshops presented The Process of International Legal Reproduction: Inequality, Historiography, Resistance with Rose Parfitt, Nathaniel Berman, Vasuki Nesiah, and Martti Koskenniemi.

The Emergence of the Concept of a ‘Welfare State’ in British Political Discourse, 1940-1950

On 23 October, the IILJ’s History and Theory of International Law Workshops hosted David Garland. Garland presented ‘The Emergence of the Concept of a “Welfare State” in British Political Discourse, 1940-1950’ . Martti Koskenniemi and Steven Lukes commented. Benedict Kingbury and Karin Loevy moderated.

The Energy of Concepts: For a Fregean History of Conceptual and Historical Change

On 22 January, the IILJ’s History and Theory of International Law Workshops hosted IILJ Senior Fellow Benjamin Straumann. Straumann presented his paper ‘The Energy of Concepts: For a Fregean History of Conceptual and Historical Change’ defending ‘analytic contextualism’. Commentators included Jeremy Waldron, Tamsin Shaw, Steven Lukes, and Karin Loevy.

2018

Between Impunity and Imperialism: The Regulation of Transnational Bribery

On 27 November, the IILJ’s History and Theory of International Law Workshops hosted a discussion of Professor Kevin Davis’ book, Between Impunity and Imperialism: The Regulation of Transnational Bribery. Alexander Cooley, Benjamin Straumann, and Nicholas Wilson were commentators.

Time, Space and Violence in Current Histories of International Law

On 24 October, the IILJ’s History and Theory of International Law Workshops presented Time, Space and Violence in Current Histories of International Law. Participants included Antony Anghie, Lauren Benton, Christopher Casey, Harlan Cohen, David Dyzenhaus, Lisa Ford, Maeve Glass, Robert Howse, Daniel Hulsebosch, Benedict Kingsbury, Karin Loevy, Gerry Simpson, Benjamin Straumann, Natasha Wheatley, and others.

Forging Modern States with Imperfect Tools: United Nations Technical Assistance for Public Administration in Decolonized States

On 25 September, the IILJ’s History and Theory of International Law Workshops hosted Guy Fiti Sinclair, Senior Lecturer at the Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Law and winner of the ESIL Book Prize. Sinclair presented his paper titled: ‘Forging Modern States with Imperfect Tools: United Nations Technical Assistance for Public Administration in Decolonized States’.