International Law and Its Discontents: Rethinking the Global South

106th American Society of International Law Proceedings, p. 176, March 2012

7 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2013

See all articles by Balakrishnan Rajagopal

Balakrishnan Rajagopal

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Urban Studies & Planning

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

I make three interrelated arguments: first, international law’s discontents have always been its peripheries, whose relationship to the core of international law has been historically captured by the TWAIL scholarship; second, this periphery (which, following current conventions, I shall call ‘‘the global South’’) is itself a complex arena now, not solely defined by victimhood but by a hegemonic and a counter-hegemonic global South which are themselves in tension; and third, that the rise of complexity and tension within the global South is symptomatic of the general crisis of the global economic and political system, symbolized most recently by the global economic crisis, but in fact much deeper and much longer in duration. This crisis could be both a moment of opportunity and challenge for international law, but that depends on which global South ends up having influence on the evolution of international law and how it relates to the hegemonic global North.

Keywords: International law, Global South, TWAIL

Suggested Citation

Rajagopal, Balakrishnan, International Law and Its Discontents: Rethinking the Global South (2012). 106th American Society of International Law Proceedings, p. 176, March 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2304309

Balakrishnan Rajagopal (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Urban Studies & Planning ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

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