117 AJIL Unbound (2023)

Symposium on Infrastructuring International Law

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The symposium “Infrastructuring International Law” was edited by Benedict Kingsbury and published by AJIL Unbound. This symposium contributes to the investigation of how infrastructures may work as fundamental components of regulatory ordering—or may work against or orthogonal to some such ordering projects and in support of competing or resistance projects. This is the animating idea of the the IILJ’s InfraReg project.

Deborah Cowen of the University of Toronto’s Geography and Planning Department (building also from work she has done with Winona LaDuke) focuses on the infrastructures of British imperial expansion across Turtle Island, particularly the railways, survey, and mails, all lines formed into networks with nodal offices, gateways of interconnection, policing and militarized violence, social expectations, and exclusions.

Miriam Ticktin, an anthropologist from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, draws a complementary arc in her contribution on infrastructures related to migrants or people on the move.

Edefe Ojomo of the University of Lagos, Nigeria embarks on the project of “thinking infrastructurally” by “thinking institutionally” about the transborder electricity generation-facilitation, transmission, and grid-management arrangements instantiated by the West African Power Pool (WAPP) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Nahuel Maisley of the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina analyzes the design of spaces for international lawmaking conferences and focuses on discreet buildings and compounds—the flows enabled or obstructed by the architectures of conference halls are of conversations and deliberations.

An introduction by Benedict Kingsbury and essays by Deborah Cowen, Miriam Ticktin, Edefe Ojomo, and Nahuel Maisley are available.