Current Developments

Cheating Chile

The (il)legality of information and the World Bank’s “Doing Business” ranking

A rare mea culpa emanated from the leading international development institution, the World Bank, last week. The Bank’s Chief Economist, Paul Romer, told the Wall Street Journal: “I want to make a personal apology to Chile, and to any other country where we conveyed the wrong impression.” Romer, who took his post in late 2016, said he had found “irregularities” in the World Bank’s flagship publication, the “Doing Business” ranking. …


Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

The 12mm-Winchester-Gun and the Global South in Comparative Constitutional Law

Symposium accompanying the 50-year anniversary conference of our partner journal VRÜ

This week, our partner journal Verfassung und Recht in Übersee (VRÜ) / Law and Politics in Asia, Africa and Latin America celebrates its 50th birthday with an international conference on “The Global South in Comparative Constitutional Law” in Berlin. We will accompany this conference with an online symposium also featured on the blog of the International Association of Constitutional Law. The symposium is not only intended to make the conference …



Open Access on the shores of international legal scholarship

Völkerrechtsblog’s experience with providing open access to scholars from 156 countries around the world

The digital revolution is hitting the shores of academic publishing. Online resources increasingly gain ground, and open access has become the call of the day – and a hotly debated issue. Political and academic initiatives favor and fund open access, for instance the digital strategy of the German Ministry of Education and Research or the Open Access 2020 initiative of the Max Planck society. For its advocates, open access promises …


Land GovernanceSymposium

Grab me if you can?

The global scramble for land in local context

This post opens our symposium on “Land governance”, which accompanies an international conference at the Law and Society Institute of Humboldt University Berlin. Lawyers and political scientists from Germany, India and Brazil will reflect on the global scramble for land in local contexts. Land as such is a rather localized phenomenon, but land governance matters in much wider political, economic, social and ecological contexts: Control over land has always been …


Debating "Beyond Human Rights"Symposium

De-constitutionalizing individual rights beyond the state?

Democracy and universality below and between human rights   

With its translation into English, Anne Peters’ “Beyond Human Rights” provokes reactions from a wider scholarly community that does not necessarily share her doctrinal methods, theoretical commitments or underlying political philosophy. Zoran Oklopic thus reads her work critically as a call for a “ius cosmopoliticum” based on “normative individualism”, as a liberal legalism which empowers the bourgeois to effectively enforce individual – read: corporate – property rights through investment arbitration but …


Buchcover 3D
Debating "Beyond Human Rights"Symposium

Beyond Human Rights

Our authors debate Anne Peters book on the individual in international law

With the first symposium after our relaunch, Völkerrechtsblog emphasizes its role as a forum for transnational legal debate – a debate that transcends jurisdictions and that connects scholars from different academic communities and parts of the world. We aim to encourage such debates with our new format, the book symposium. We invite authors to discuss important new publications from the German-speaking community in English language to make them accessible to a wider …



Relaunching Völkerrechtsblog 2016

Our platform starts into its third year with a new face and new features

Völkerrechtsblog launches into the year 2016 – our third year! – with a new website, design and logo, and with new content and new services for the international law community. We have moved to a new domain,, and the site has been redesigned to make it more accessible and easier to navigate. The start page has a new look, posts can now be illustrated with images, and boxes link directly to symposia …


SymposiumThe Promises of International Law and Society

“What’s law got to do with it?”

Symposium “The Promises of International Law and Society” When Richard Schwartz, co-founder of the Law and Society Association in the US, was invited to submit a part of his PhD on social factors in the development of legal control as an article to the Yale Law Journal, he himself wondered: “What’s law got to do with it?” Despite his doubts, the article became a classic in the by now well-established field of Law …


Rule of Law Goes GlobalSymposium

“You can’t be neutral on a moving train”

Conference symposium “Rule of law goes global” “The rule of law maintains things as they are. Therefore, to begin the process of change, to stop a war, to establish justice, it may be necessary to break the law, to commit acts of civil disobedience, as Southern blacks did, as antiwar protesters did”. In his autobiography “You can’t be neutral on a moving train”, American historian and activist Howard Zinn confronts us …



Freihandel vs. Demokratie 2.0

Auftakt zum Online-Symposium Trademocracy Heute beginnt in New York die  neunte Verhandlungsrunde über „TTIP“, das Freihandels- und Investitionsabkommen zwischen den USA und der EU. Am Wochenende gingen wieder tausende TTIP-Gegner auf die Straße, andere Protestformen formieren sich. In der Kritik stehen nicht nur konkreten Inhalte des Abkommens, symbolisiert durch das US-amerikanische „Chlorhähnchen“. TTIP wirft auch grundsätzliche Fragen nach dem Verhältnis zwischen demokratischer Gestaltungsfreiheit und Selbstbestimmung einerseits und freiem Handel andererseits auf. …