SymposiumYoung Approaches to International Law

Irrational, unprofessional, radical?

Towards a differentiated perspective on age in international law and politics scholarship

2019 has marked the year in which the climate crisis has entered broader public debate. The main trigger were young people protesting around the globe and demanding that their governments finally take the threat seriously and significantly increase the efforts in limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The “Arab Spring” movement is yet another recent example in which young people demonstrate their political potential. Transnational movements such as #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter and #FridaysforFuture …

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SymposiumYoung Approaches to International Law

Denying juveniles’ agency role: truly in their best interest?

How is it possible that thus far the agency role of juveniles in international law appears to be diminished and underestimated, even though they constitute a large number of the world´s population? Yet, instead of being treated as responsible agents who deserve to be involved in decision-making processes concerning international law issues, juveniles are being victimized and paternalized. This is well shown in the Preamble of the Convention on the …

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SymposiumYoung Approaches to International Law

Enter the youth, a protagonist behind the scenes

The 1992 Rio Declaration suggested that young people would soon become protagonists in international law-making. Accordingly, it should be no surprise that the youth has become louder and louder in voicing its concerns. Yet, scholars appear not to have acknowledged that change. For while international law becomes more humanised, international bodies jettison their ‘states-only’ requirement, and climate change haunts future generations – commentators keep postponing the theorisation of young people’s …

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SymposiumYoung Approaches to International Law

Do youth delegates at the UN have an influence on public international law?

Young people, mostly defined as people aged between 15 and 24 in the UN context (for more information on the definition of youth, see here), are generally underrepresented in political processes at national and international levels. Youth participation programs, including youth delegate programs, aim at alleviating this underrepresentation. At the United Nations, youth delegate programs were first envisaged by the member states in 1981 (for a comprehensive overview over the …

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SymposiumYoung Approaches to International Law

Rejuvenating international law

An introduction to an emerging field of research

Announcing a “Youthquake”, Time Magazine rang the bell of change, declaring that a new generation is on its way to power. International legal scholarship, however, has not yet recognised this dynamic as an emerging field of research.  In this light (or darkness), students of Freie Universität Berlin hosted a conference on the question of youth in international law this January. The event was shaped by questions such as “Is international …

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