Can International Law Be a Law of Resistance? Ten Steps for a Renewal of International Normative Ambition (Le droit International peut-il etre un droit de resistance? Dix conditions pour un renouveau de l'ambition normative internationale)
40 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2008 Last revised: 13 Aug 2008
Date Written: August 8, 2007
International law has traditionally been above all a law aimed at reinforcing sovereignty and, secondarily, of taming it via the emergence of an international community. What is typically excluded from this encounter is a whole series of efforts undertaken by civil society, individuals, or social movements, even when those objectively reinforce international law's goals. International law as a normative project could gain significantly from a greater recognition of the striking role played by non-state actors in its implementation. A case can be made that if international law increasingly casts itself substantively as a law of human beings, then its modes of implementation should follow suit. The idea of resistance as a rehabilitation of the role human agency can provide the missing link. The article suggests ten preliminary conditions before such a utopia could take root.
Note: Downloadable document is in French.
Keywords: International law, resistance, sovereignty, cosmopolitanism, civil disobedience, rebellion, legal pluralism, natural law, enforcement, human rights
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation