My new book 'How to Do Things With International Law' appears this fall. It looks at the politics of international law and the law of international politics. I address the myth that international law is a civilizing force in world politics, and look instead for how governments use international law to advance their interests. It offers an alternative to liberal and realist approaches by highlighting how international law can enable state power through legitimizing policies on war, drones, torture, and more.
The journal of Contemporary Security Policy has a new special issue on targeted killing and changing norms of international order edited by Jodok Troy and Martin Senn.
Details at http://bit.ly/2vyfAuF
The UN Security Council's imperial authority over international affairs is limited only by the requirement that the P-5 agree with each other on its use. It constitutes a kind of internally compromised hegemony of the Great Powers. My new essay at e-ir is here:
A comprehensive look at international organizations in contemporary politics, law, and sociology. Forthcoming November 2016.
Workshop for graduate students and others on international law and international organization at Northwestern University in Chicago Monday December 5th 2016. The workshop aims to support new research on interdisciplinary topics and approaches to the history, law, and politics of international organizations and international legalization. Feel free to share the announcement below.
The ban on war in the UN Charter is often celebrated for restricting the reasons that governments can go to war. But those limits are also empowering for governments: the Charter authorizes governments to use force in self-defense, and they have shown themselves eager to make use of that authority. This facilitates the use of force by states rather than limiting it.
By creating the legal category of 'self-defense,' international law gives to states an iron-clad legal rationale to legitimate their wars. And over time, the category has expanded as powerful states have used it to justify ever broader military interventions in the world. My new article shows the permissive power of international law on war and suggests that the ban on war may make it easier, not harder, for governments to go to war.
If UN peacekeeping is only possible because the UN is legally insulated from the damages it imposes on local people, then it is time to stop engaging in peacekeeping. From Kosovo to Congo to Haiti, the UN's immunity from all court action encourages sloppy and dangerous practices.
Ian Hurd 'End the UN's Legal Immunity,' in The Hill July 22 2016
An open letter to the US Secretary of Defense in support of releasing Mohamedou Ould Slahi from Guantanamo military base.
May 18, 2016
Ashton B. Carter Secretary of Defense Department of Defense 1000 Defense Pentagon Washington, DC
Dear Secretary Carter,
We are professors and teachers from a variety of disciplines. We are writing to convey our interest in the forthcoming Periodic Review Board hearing of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, the author of Guantánamo Diary, and our hope that those proceedings will bring an end to Mr. Slahi’s ordeal in United States custody.
Many of us have assigned Guantánamo Diary to our students and discussed it in our classrooms. We have done so because, as a Pentagon spokesman acknowledged shortly after Guantánamo Diary was published, “it’s part of our country’s history.” We have also done so because it is an important and often surprising work of literature—one that, like other notable works of prison literature, draws a complex portrait of life in captivity and testifies to the resilience of dignity and the human spirit.
When students read Guantánamo Diary, they are troubled by the ordeal Mr. Slahi recounts, and they are moved by his candor, wit, and willingness to recognize the humanity of his guards and interrogators. They are also full of questions, as we are, about why Mr. Slahi is in United States custody at all, and how the treatment he recounts accords with our most basic notions of fairness, due process, and justice.
Because it takes readers deep into some of the most wrenching experiences of our post-9/11 history, Mr. Slahi’s Guantánamo Diary will almost certainly be read for generations. But how it is read in the future will depend in large part on how and when Mr. Slahi’s time in United States custody ends.
We hope the Periodic Review Board will resolve Mr. Slahi’s profoundly troubling story. Guantánamo Diary reminds us vividly that justice is both a universal concept and an individual matter. As educators and as readers, we sincerely hope that Mr. Slahi’s faith in the United States’ fair administration of justice will at last be repaid.
Rebecca A. Adelman
Head of School, Professor of International Relations
University of Kent
Joseph A. Buttigieg
William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English University of Notre Dame
Joan C. Callahan
Professor Emerita of Philosophy University of Kentucky
Associate Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights and Concurrent Assistant Professor of Law
University of Notre Dame
Associate Professor of Media & Communication Studies University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Assistant Professor of Law The Ohio State University
Distinguished Professor of English Hunter College/Graduate Center CUNY
Professor of English Lake Forest College
Senior Lecturer, Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies University of Essex
Dean of the School of Law; Distinguished Professor of Law; Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law University of California, Irvine School of Law
Assistant Professor; Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Professor of English University of Connecticut
CIRHUS Research Fellow New York University
Chair, Department of Anthropology Professor of Anthropology
Affiliated Professor of Education; Director of Leo T. McCarthy Center University of San Francisco
Assistant Professor of Religion University of Rochester
Ph.D. Candidate Harvard University
Professor of English University of San Diego
Lisa M. Feldstein
Instructor University of San Francisco
Professor William Felice
Professor of Political Science Eckerd College
Lecturer, Department of War Studies King's College London
Lecturer, Department of Visual Arts University of Chicago
Deputy Dean, Leo Spitz Professor of International Law, Ludwig and Hilde Wolf Research Scholar, and Professor of Political Science
University of Chicago Law School
Lecturer, Department of Philosophy University of San Francisco
Associate Professor of Humanities University of California, Los Angeles
Professor of Sociology University of California, Santa Barbara
Ph.D. Candidate Northwestern University
Louann and Larry Temple Centennial Professor of English Literatures University of Texas
Assistant Professor of English/Environmental Studies
Assistant Professor of English North Central College
Adjunct Professor George Mason University
Associate Professor of Philosophy The Catholic University of America
Aaron J Hughes
Artist, teacher, organizer, and Iraq War veteran
Professor, School of Law University of Essex
Professor of Law University of Chicago
Associate Professor and Director, International Studies Program
Elizabeth Shakman Hurd
Associate Professor, Political Science and Religious Studies Northwestern University
David B. Ingram
Professor of Philosophy Loyola University Chicago
Presidential Research Professor of Philosophy and Women's and Gender Studies; Co- Director of the Center for Social Justice University of Oklahoma
Assistant Professor of English Drew University
New York University
Professor/Chair of Comparative American Studies
Professor of History and Director of the Nuclear Studies Institute American University
Senior Research Fellow Open University, UK
Associate Professor Drew University
Associate Professor of English Rutgers University
Assistant Professor University of Illinois, Chicago
Ph.D. Candidate Northwestern University
Professor Emeritus of English University of Notre Dame
Professor of Political Science and Adjunct Professor of Law, Societies and Justice University of Washington
Assistant Professor at American Studies Center
University of Warsaw, Poland
Five College Lecturer in Video Production Mount Holyoke College
Professor, Department of English John Carroll University
Diane Tietjens Meyers
Professor Emerita of Philosophy University of Connecticut
Associate Professor of English UNC Greensboro
Senior Fellow, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Associate Professor, Institutt for språk og litteratur Det humanistiske fakultet Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Assistant Professor - U.S. American Literature, Cultural Studies
Lecturer in Law SOAS
Associate Professor of English, Social and Cultural Analysis
New York University
Associate Professor of Political Science Northwestern University
Norma J. Hervey
Professor of Social Sciences Charles University, Prague
Deborah Alejandra Popowski
Lecturer on Law Harvard Law School
David L. Richards
Associate Professor of Political Science and Human Rights
University of Connecticut
Visiting Professor of Law Cardozo Law School
Assistant Professor of Religion Carleton College
Professor of Anthropology, Center for Human Rights & Peace Studies Lehman College City University of New York
Professor of English University of Notre Dame
Professor and Chief Librarian Lehman College/CUNY
Associate Lecturer in Criminology and Sociology
Professor Emeritus of Politics and International Relations; Senior Research Fellow Emeritus at Merton College University of Oxford
Dawinder "Dave" S. Sidhu
Associate Professor of Law University of New Mexico School of Law
Assistant Professor Northwestern University
Associate Professor; Director of the Ph.D. Programme
Aarhus University, Denmark
Untold History Education Project
Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature Columbia University
Professor Emeritus of English University of North Florida
Distinguished Professor of French Graduate Center, CUNY
Professor of Philosophy Ohio Wesleyan University
Assistant Professor of American Literature University of Warwick
Elizabeth Swanson Goldberg
Professor of English; Chair of Arts and Humanities Division
Ph.D. Candidate Northwestern University
Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies University of Alberta, Canada
Associate Professor of English and Literature Carleton University
Lecturer in English; Director, Writing Center Northeastern University
Professor Emerita of Comparative Studies Ohio State University
Associate Professor Northwestern University
Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Professor of Law
Whittier Law School
Acting Director of Human Rights Studies City University of New York
Congratulations to Swati Srivastava (NU Poli.Sci. Phd candidate) on winning a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion fellowship.
Configurations of Sovereignty: Public and Private Authority Negotiations in World Politics
How is sovereignty negotiated between public and private authorities in international politics? How do these power dynamics change over time? This project uses archival data, comparative historical methods, and an interpretive methodology to investigate private actors who deploy international violence, rules, and ideology. It leverages an understanding of public-private sovereign negotiations in the English East India Company from 1650 to 1789 to better situate the contemporary sovereignty challengers of Blackwater, the International Chamber of Commerce, and Amnesty International. The project shows that rather than representing a threat to state sovereignty, private actors create various configurations of sovereignty together with the state, obscuring who counts as public and private in the first place. Such reorientation maps the multi-sited networks of global power and foregrounds privatized action within a broader history of sovereign governance
A Workshop on History and Politics of International Law
Friday, June 3, 2016
Ripton Room, Scott Hall, Evanston Campus
Universidad de los Andes
University of Toronto
University of West Georgia
University of Hong Kong-Law
Arnulf Becker Lorca
University of Amsterdam
University of Chicago
Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison
Sponsored by Equality, Development and Globalization Studies, the Buffett Institute for Global Studies, and the International Law/International Organization Working Group all at Northwestern University.
"The UN-cholera epidemic in Haiti exposes aspects of the political power of international law that are routinely overlooked by liberal internationalists and others who see international legalization—the fitting of political disputes into a legal frame—as a solution to political problems."
Mara Pillinger, Ian Hurd, and Michael N. Barnett, "How to Get Away with Cholera: The UN, Haiti, and International Law," in Perspectives on Politics March 2016, 14(1).
Senator Sanders is the smart choice on US foreign policy.
What is Sen. Bernie Sanders' approach to foreign policy? As a political scientist, I have watched the presidential season with an eye on candidates' foreign policy, and I see an increasingly sharp gap between Sanders' approach and that of all other candidates in either party.
Long before he ran for president, Sanders said he sees "no magic line separating local, state, national and international issues." This intuition sits at the heart of what might be called the Bernie doctrine on foreign policy. It illuminates how a Sanders presidency would approach the key global challenges for the U.S. in the coming years. The Bernie doctrine focuses on two central connections: between the local and the global and between politics and economics. The pernicious effects of inequality link these together.
Full essay in US News and World Report Feburary 29 2016
The International Organization section of ISA is selecting a new section head and three new members for the executive committee. Voting is now open and will close on February 26th at noon ET. All IO section members are eligible to vote. All terms are for two years.
The ballot is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZQMRWY3. There is one candidate for section head and 11 candidates for the three open positions on the executive committee.
We look forward to welcoming the new leadership at the IO business meeting in Atlanta on Friday March 18th at 12:30.
Please contact Ian Hurd, IO section chair, with any questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
The International Organization section of ISA is searching for several new members for its executive committee and for a new section head. Elections will be held prior to ISA 2016 in Atlanta. To be considered, please send a note indicating your interest along with a short bio to Alynna Lyon (alynna.Lyon@unh.edu), the IO section secretary. All positions are for two years. Candidates should be IO section members by the time they take office. Self-nominations are welcome; if you wish to nominate someone other than yourself, please indicate to us that you have their permission. The deadline for nominations is February 5, 2016.
The section head manages the interests of the section in relation to ISA headquarters as well as organizing the section’s contributions to each annual meeting. This includes choosing a program chair who selects papers and panels, setting up thecommittees that decide on section prizes, and leading new programming initiatives. Executive committee members assist the section chair in these activities.
The IO section is among the largest groups in ISA, with almost 700 members. It is growing strongly and is in a strong financial position.
International law is often assumed to produce policy choices that are better than choices made without the help of international law - more just, more fair, more sustainable, or more progressive. This assumption leads to an 'enchanted' view of international law, which sees international law as a natural and a-political solution to political problems. In this new essay I explore this enchanted attitude alongside a 'disenchanted' alternative that is more attentive to the power and politics of international legalization.
Ian Hurd, "Enchanted and Disenchanted International Law," Global Policy, December 2015.