Current Developments

Kofi Annan and International Law in Kenya

Dr. Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, died recently. Many Kenyans took to social media to mourn the death of the African diplomat they had come to know through his efforts in curbing the 2008 post-election violence. Annan and the 2007 Election in Kenya The 2007 election in Kenya was charged and emotive. Mr. Raila Odinga, the then President Kibaki’s main challenger, had assembled an impressive …

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Cultural Heritage in a Post-Colonial WorldSymposium

Dekoloniale Perspektiven zu Berlins Humboldt Forum

Positionen und Kritik von Dekolonisierungsaktivist*innen

Jährlich demonstrieren Afrikaner*innen aus ehemaligen (deutschen) Kolonien sowie People of Colour (PoC) und Schwarze diasporische bzw. migrantische Communities für die Anerkennung kolonialen Unrechts und die Rückgabe von Gebeinen und Kultursubjekten,[1] die im Zuge des Kolonialismus nach Deutschland gebracht wurden. Die öffentliche Aufmerksamkeit für koloniales Unrecht und die Rückgabe von Gebeinen und Kultursubjekten war bisher begrenzt, bekommt nun aber durch ein ca. 600 Millionen Euro schweres Projekt neuen Auftrieb: Derzeit wird …

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Business and Human RightsSymposium

Giving Human Rights a Future

The Transnational and Transformative Character of a Business and Human Rights Treaty

The future of human rights, as scholars and practitioners alike emphasize, depends on its ability to address economic inequality. For this aim, human rights lawmaking needs to listen to more voices than just the ones of the powerful states and the human rights movement needs to include more actors than it did in the past to tackle questions of fair distribution:

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Law and DevelopmentSymposium

Between (Re-)Empowerment and (Hyper-) Conditionality

The Rise of Accountability-Driven Governance in Development Cooperation

Ever since David Trubek and Mark Galanter’s seminal ‘Scholars in Self-Estrangement’, which Philip Dann, during the seminar that gave rise to this post, aptly termed the ‘law and development movement’s defining moment’, there has been intense self-reflection by scholars on the role of law in and for ‘development’ and about the analytical and normative currency of this approach. And in line with the broader ‘turn to history’ in law, this …

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Law and DevelopmentSymposium

Agenda 2030 -Time to Revisit Rule of Law programming

As the development community re-focuses on how the rule of law agenda enables sustainable development as expected in fulfilment of Agenda 2030, questions will continue to arise concerning the mixed results of rule of law assistance projects. D. Marshall in his treatise “The International Rule of Law Movement: A Crisis of Legitimacy and the Way Forward,” emphasizes that there is a profound knowledge deficit regarding the justice system, its actors, …

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Law and DevelopmentSymposium

Law and Development: Theory and Practice

The field of Law and Development studies positions itself at a highly interesting, yet academically challenging juncture: What is the relationship between law and social and economic development? For most scholars of Law and Development, this question itself tends to raise more questions than answers: What conceptions of law are we actually talking about? And should the notion of ‘development’ be critically re-appropriated beyond modernized ideals of economic growth? Or …

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Call for ContributionsCultural Heritage in a Post-Colonial WorldSymposium

CfP: Cultural Heritage in a Post-colonial World – New Framings of a Global Legal Problem

The Voelkerrechtsblog is happy to announce an interdisciplinary online symposium on “Cultural Heritage in a Post-colonial World – New Framings of a Global Legal Problem”. Cultural and anthropological objects from colonized or de-facto colonized territories have arrived in Europe in great amounts since the 18th century. Many European metropoles established large collections of those artefacts and human remains to display this shared “heritage” to their people – all projects closely …

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Interview

On history, geography, and radical change in international law

An interview with BS Chimni

These are exciting times for international legal scholarship – on this point, the interviewers and Professor BS Chimni can immediately agree. But what are the consequences of recent challenges to the international legal order for critical approaches? Professor Chimni’s groundbreaking work on Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) has contributed greatly to international legal scholarship during the last decades. A fascinating scholar, an enthusiastic teacher, and an effortlessly charismatic …

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Critical Race Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Learning from Anthropology

Realizing a Critical Race Approach to (International) Law

Introduction Despite anthropology’s troublesome contribution to the colonial project, the discipline as it is today has much to offer to critical race theory (CRT) and postcolonial approaches to international law. Already in the 1930s, Franz Boas and his students began to challenge the Eurocentrism, modernism and colonialism of anthropology. They developed a critique of cultural evolutionism, according to which culture was understood as evolving towards the “Western ideal”. Instead, they …

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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. …

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