Marxism, International Law and Political Strategy

Leiden Journal of International Law, Vol. 22, p. 413, 2009

24 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2011 Last revised: 23 Dec 2012

See all articles by Robert Knox

Robert Knox

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: July 29, 2009

Abstract

The question of international law’s role in progressive politics has become increasingly important. This is reflected in an upsurge in scholarship dealing with international law’s relationship to imperial power and its progressive potential. There has also seen an increase in the number of Marxist accounts of international law, with China Miéville’s Between Equal Rights being particularly important. Miéville’s book is very pessimistic as to the progressive potential of international law. This article contests his claims by examining Miéville’s accounts of legal subjectivity, violence and indeterminacy and argues that international law’s content is open to progressive appropriations. However, the ‘form’ of international law limits its ability to criticise systemic or structural problems, so international law has very little transformative potential. A progressive politics of international law must therefore take advantage of content without falling foul of form. The article finally inquires whether in some extraordinary situations international law might be transformative.

Keywords: international law, Marxism, commodity, imperialism

Suggested Citation

Knox, Robert, Marxism, International Law and Political Strategy (July 29, 2009). Leiden Journal of International Law, Vol. 22, p. 413, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1698915

Robert Knox (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
267
Abstract Views
1,688
rank
117,197
PlumX Metrics