Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=708504
 
 

Footnotes (203)



 


 



Liberal International Law Theory and the United Nations Mission in Kosovo: Ideas and Practice (draft paper)


David Schleicher


George Mason University School of Law


Tulane Journal of International & Comparative Law, Vol. 14, No. 2, 2006

Abstract:     
It has become commonplace to say that ideas have real-world consequences. Understanding which ideas have what consequences, though, is a difficult endeavor. Determining which ideas dominated international discourse on an important but theoretically complex topic and how they impacted policy-making can be a virtually impossible task. However, sometimes history is kind to researchers. When the international community is forced by events to make collective decisions, the results can be analyzed to see what ideas were most influential and the role they played in the actual decision-making of people in positions of power. The creation by the international community of a state-like governing apparatus in Kosovo was one of these rare occasions, and the way the United Nations, the North American Treaty Organization, the European Union, important individual states and number of other organizations went about creating a new government from thin air gives important insight into both what ideas dominated international law thinking at the time and, perhaps more importantly, how ideas impact decision-making at the international level.

More specifically, this draft paper will argue that the theory of disaggregated sovereignty, and the general corpus of Liberalism in international relations and international law, provided the dominant understanding of state behavior in fin de siecle legal scholarship and that the principles of this legal and international relations literature underlay the design of the U.N. Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). The administrative and legal framework of UNMIK looks exactly like the idea of a modern Liberal State inherent in the disaggregated sovereignty literature. Though this does not prove that the literature directly caused or informed those responsible for designing UNMIK, this correlation provides evidence that the ideas that were dominant in world society - of which the scholarship is both part and representative of - animated international policy-making.

The paper also argues that it was the internal structure of the disaggregated sovereignty idea that enabled it to influence the creation of UNMIK. In particular, the claim that non-liberal states could be transformed into liberal ones through links between sub-state institutions, like regulatory agencies and courts, served as the crucial intellectual bridge for the theory to be used as the model for UNMIK. This creates a challenge for those scholars who seek to explain the transfer of legal and political ideas solely through sociological means (i.e., the pressures and lures created by other states and international organizations and interactions of individuals and non-state actors with global culture). The structure of the ideas and whether they are considered by their holders to be universally applicable turns out to be crucial for determinations of whether they will be spread through international institutions and make their way into state practice.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 72

Keywords: UNMIK, Kosovo, disaggregated sovereignty, liberalism, international relations and international law, world society, global polity

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: April 27, 2005  

Suggested Citation

Schleicher, David, Liberal International Law Theory and the United Nations Mission in Kosovo: Ideas and Practice (draft paper). Tulane Journal of International & Comparative Law, Vol. 14, No. 2, 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=708504

Contact Information

David Schleicher (Contact Author)
George Mason University School of Law ( email )
3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 2,774
Downloads: 357
Download Rank: 46,129
Footnotes:  203

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo2 in 0.500 seconds