Antony AnghieFrom: The Oxford Handbook of International Law in Asia and the Pacific
Edited By: Simon Chesterman, Hisashi Owada, Ben Saul
This chapter looks at debates about Asia in scholarship on the history and theory of international law. It also traces the evolution of concepts of sovereignty in the context of Asia’s colonial history, and more recent preoccupations with development. What counts as the ‘history and theory’ of international law is itself continuously changing and scholars must engage with new materials and issues. Possible new initiatives include deeper research on Asian traditions and concepts of rule and governance, justice, and order; approaching the history and theory of international law in Asia in global rather than regional terms; and turning to other disciplines—such as social/cultural anthropology—to develop new insights into the questions of governance and territory, and the powerful imaginaries of nationhood, sovereignty, and empire that animate the peoples of Asia, and that have not been entirely displaced by modern concepts of sovereignty and globalization. Examining these themes illuminates the important issues of how Asian states have attempted to innovate and use international law to further their own interests.
1 The intensifying competition between European States intent on acquiring territory in Africa in the late 19th century resulted in increasing friction within Europe (Colonialism). The Berlin West Africa Conference 1884–1885 (‘Conference’) was convened by Chancellor Bismarck of Germany for the purpose of addressing the political, diplomatic, and legal issues that resulted from this Scramble for Africa, a scramble which involved not only States but various powerful commercial interests such as the British East Africa Company (Conferences and Congresses,...
Antony AnghieFrom: The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law
Edited By: Bardo Fassbender, Anne Peters
The topic of ‘regionalism’ and its relationship with international law has now acquired a particular and considerable significance. Contemporary scholars have argued that the emergence of regional organizations and the legal systems and institutions associated with them may result in the fragmentation of international law1—or, somewhat contrastingly, that it is through regional organizations that international law may actually achieve some sort of reality and effective enforcement.2 The idea of ‘regional international law’ acts as a complex bridge between the...
Antony AnghieFrom: The Oxford Handbook of the Theory of International Law
Edited By: Anne Orford, Florian Hoffmann
This chapter examines the issue of how imperialism has impinged on theorizing about international law in different historical periods, as imperialism is a distinctive experience that has generated new questions and concepts that have been and need to be further explored in order to acquire a better grasp of the operation of international law and its effects on the world. The argument here is that we are faced by a fundamental paradox: although imperialism has been crucial to the development of international law, it has not really been a central concern of the theory of international law for much of the last century. This is because of a broad tendency to view ‘colonial questions’ as pragmatic or political issues that did not implicate the great theoretical concerns of the time, or else to characterize imperialism in a manner that easily enabled its assimilation into these concerns.