The following passages is a transcription; of an introduction written in 1915 for an edited collection that placed the Hague Conventions and Declarations of 1899 and 1907 in context. Albeit, ‘for the time’ it ought to be noted. Those interested in international legal and diplomatic history would find some use, I hope, in these passages. The writer of these passages is James Brown Scott (pictured above), who at the time was Director of the Division of International Law at The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Scott was an influential figure, in the American contribution to international law during the early half of the 20th century. (NB: Citations in the original text have not been transcribed.)
Came across a series of videos produced by United Nations’ Department of Public Information. The number of “views” for these videos were surprisingly low. I enjoyed them and thought to share it. Note, they are ‘feel good’ biographical stories rather than being of academic or professional interest. Continue reading
A visual reminder/provocation from Banksy. Poignant as ever. The imagery in Banksy’s video, allows us to recognise that the many migrant crises are not just legal or military problems. It reminds us that we should see it as a moral problem. We need to build a moral aptitude. And by ‘we’, I mean ‘we’ who perceive ourselves as secure. If we can see the ‘fleeing’ in the video through the ‘deus ex machina’ of the red balloons. Then, we should be able to receive those who flee and come to us. This is not to say that nothing else must be done with regards to those crises, or that there would not be other consequences. We should not be morally vacant as we enjoy and feel entitled to our security. One should not think there is strong moral justification that permits confusing one’s anxieties about future needs with the present needs of those who flee.
I had the rare fortune of conversing extensively about the politics of international economics and environmental ethics on the weekend. It is worth noting a platitude. All ideas are full of politics, and, there are many different ways in which one thinks of politics. Just in terms of international economics, there are so many ways. The politics of economic power, politics of private interests, politics of expert reason, politics of public goods, politics of the ideology of disciplines…just to name a few, all came into play in my weekend conversations. Environmental ethics, also decidedly full of politics.
I first came across this animation about 2 months ago. Created by Alphonse Swinehart, the animation depicts the journey of a photon of light. The 45 minute clip shows a photon beginning its journey from the surface of the Sun, till it passes Jupiter. It is pretty tough, to try to make sense of some of the distances involved. Needless to say, these encounters with astronomy raise a number of provocations regarding human senses of time and cosmology. (Note on numbers: The figures I have chosen are taken from other websites. The figures may be slightly inaccurate, and I am aware that I may not fully understand all of them. Let alone, be able to verify them independently. Though, I suspect it would not matter too much.)
Originally seen on ESIL’s interest group on the History of International Law blog (http://esilhil.blogspot.com/)
Call for Papers:
CFP: After Empire: The League of Nations and the former Habsburg Lands (Vienna, 11-12 December 2015); DEADLINE: 31 January 2015
The call for papers for this workshop is now open. If you would like to apply please submit a paper abstract of around 200 words by the end of January 2015 to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
If the Austro-Hungarian empire gave way to a new order of nation-states at the end of the First World War, the birth of that order coincided with a broader new international settlement with the League of Nations at its heart. Continue reading
FutureLearn is offering a course designed in partnership with the BBC to commemorate World War I. Professor Tams leads the course which reassesses the aspirations for a new world order by those participating in the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Christian J. Tams is Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow. The course begins 13 October 2014.
The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 not only ended the Great War, but also redrew the map of the world. By doing so, the events leading to the conference and its treaties ushered in a new era of international relations. Often criticised as naive, the peace-makers in Paris set up the precursor to the United Nations, a ‘world organisation’ called the League of Nations.
Maria Aristodemou, a legal scholar from Birkbeck, recently published an article with the European Journal of International Law. In Maria’s words, her article attempts “a radical rethinking of public international law through the use of Lacanian psychoanalysis.” Here’s a short synopsis and a couple of links to a discussion of her contribution with Joseph Weiler. Continue reading