This chapter considers the development of secondary rules of international law to cover the wrongful acts and omissions of inter-governmental organisations. It analyses the Articles on Responsibility of International Organisations (ARIO) developed by the International Law Commission. The chapter focuses on the weaknesses of the ARIO in distinguishing the responsibility of the UN from that of member states, something that has caused difficulties in judicial interpretation of the ARIO in the case of UN-mandated operation. It examines the issues of attribution in firstly the Behrami case before the European Court of Human Rights and secondly various cases before Dutch courts following the failure of the Dutch battalion of the United Nations Protection Force to protect civilians in Srebrenica in 1995.
This chapter examines non-forcible measures adopted by the UN and similar inter-governmental organisations in terms of their legality (constitutionality and conformity to international law), legitimacy and effectiveness. It focuses on the Article 41 of the UN Charter, a provision that empowers the Security Council to adopt sanctions against states, although it has further developed this power to promulgate targeted sanctions against individuals and other non-state actors (NSAs). The chapter analyses the impact of general sanctions against states, such as Southern Rhodesia, Iraq, Serbia and Libya, especially their impact on the human rights of the population. It discusses the applicability of human rights norms to the UN. The Security Council has favoured targeted sanctions against individual leaders, regime elites and NSAs, such as terrorists held responsible for threats to peace but these have raised human rights concerns, and have led to litigation before various national, regional and international courts and bodies.
One philosopher who expresses himself emphatically about human nature, and whose works have attracted wide interest, is Richard Rorty. In this chapter, Geras explores Richard Rorty's various usages on the question of human nature and the tensions and anomalies they display. Rorty is an astute and provocative as well as influential thinker. An analysis of what he says about the idea of human nature, then, may serve a wider effort of clarification and exchange. Though Rorty's own relationship to post-modernism is not an altogether enthusiastic one, anti-essentialism is a trope he has in common with it. After some preliminary remarks, the chapter reviews the critical uses and rhetorical emphases of Rorty's omnipresent rejection of the idea of human nature. It offers a few reflections on the story they conjointly tell. The rhetoric of emancipation is not so distant from the rhetoric of 'utopia', which Rorty seems quite happy to employ.
There is a certain historical past of the left referred to loosely under the name 'Stalinism', and which forms a massive blot on this commitment and these values. In this article, which was first published on 'Normblog' in 2003, Geras sketches some important features of the broad picture, citing the 9/11 incident and the liberation in Iraq. It focuses on a couple of dimensions. First, there is a long tradition in the literature of international law that, although national sovereignty is an important consideration in world affairs, it is not sacrosanct. If a government treats its own people with terrible brutality, massacring them and such like, there is a right of humanitarian intervention by outside powers. Second, the good and bad consequences of war, which are illustrated here by offering a few examples.
In this chapter, Geras distinguishes three meanings of 'being a Marxist': personal, intellectual and socio-political. For someone to be a Marxist, in the first sense, he or she must subscribe to a significant selection of recognized Marxist beliefs, and describe him or herself as a Marxist. The second is that, as well as having some relevant combination of Marxist beliefs, a person can work, as writer, political publicist, academic, thinker, researcher, within the intellectual tradition begun by Marx and Engels and developed by later figures. The third this that a person is a Marxist if they belong to the Marxist left. Unless a Marxism of personal belief and a Marxism of creative intellectual work both thoroughly renewed and wrested once and for all from the grip of anti-democratic and illiberal themes and concepts, Marxism as a political force might just as well be dead and buried.
Cause groups exist before World War II itself, but they were not the mass membership organisations that we know today, making use of a combination of evidence-based lobbying, the mass media and various forms of protest. This chapter deals with the various types of lobbyists prevalent in Britain: insider groups, outsider groups, business lobbyists and commercial lobbyists. Insider groups try to influence government policy whereas outsider groups usually focus on preventing a particular activity from going ahead. Further, insider groups can be 'core' or 'peripheral' while outsider groups are divided into those that are outside 'by necessity' and those that are outside 'by choice'. The chapter discusses the renewable energy industry and the alcohol industry as examples of associations engaging in business lobbying. Leading commercial lobbyists talk about understanding the regulatory environment, getting a client's message across and building relationships with relevant decision-makers.
This chapter traces the history of the referendum from its earliest origins to its present-day use or, some would say, abuse. After a tour d'horizon of the earlier use of the direct democracy, it presents a historical overview of the use of referendums from the Renaissance through to the First World War. Despite the term's earlier use, the referendum began to be used in earnest only in the nineteenth century, when the Italian Risorgimento and the early years of the Swiss Federation (after 1848) essentially owed their existence to the use of the referendum. Having analysed these cases, the chapter takes a closer look at the discussion about the referendum in the United Kingdom and the European continent. Drawing on a functionalist-inspired model, it ends with reflections and research on why there has been an apparent increase in the use of the referendum since the 1980s.
This chapter analyses one of the most controversial aspects of the modern
U.S. Supreme Court: the process of appointing new Justices. It examines the
power and politics of Supreme Court appointments. The chapter explores
issues such as who becomes a Supreme Court Justice and why; who influences
the selection of the Justices and how; and what effect does the selection
process have upon the subsequent behaviour of the Justice once seated upon
the Court. It presents the broad constitutional framework concerning the
appointment of Supreme Court Justices as well as the mechanisms of advice
and consent between the U.S. President and the Senate. The major criteria
for presidential nominations are judicial quality, the American Bar
Association rating, prior judicial experience, party affiliation, political
ideology, personal symbolism, and confirmability by the Senate. The chapter
also describes the characteristics of the Justices and post-confirmation
Donald Trump, neoliberalism and political reconfiguration
Studies of the period from the time of the 2008 financial crisis onwards have
taken the concept of neoliberalism as their starting point. Although there
are definitional problems and the term is less widely used in the US than in
Europe, it captures the changes brought from the late 1970s onwards and ways
in which the post-war Keynesian settlement was dismantled through
deregulation, privatisation and the pulling back of social provision. For
decades, neoliberalism has been politically upheld, extended or ameliorated
by established 'mainstream' parties. Neoliberalism is being laid
low by a conflict-based form of politics that will progressively eradicate
old solidarities and pit the 'people' against those who are not
within its ranks. 'Trumpism' and European forms of populism are in
some ways weakly embedded but they may well exacerbate and intensify the
battles and processes of group competition between different
This chapter examines the different ways in which the European Union seized
the initiative from the European nation-state, from the formation of the
Coal and Steel Community to the Maastricht Treaty. Robert Schuman, the
French Foreign Minister, unveiled a plan to modernise coal and steel
production and form an economic 'community' to that
effect, one which embraced Germany. The key departure was that, under
Maastricht, every member state, except Britain and Denmark, in principle
relinquished its long-term right to make its own monetary policy. It was
agreed to create a European Central Bank to take the lead in managing a new
single currency that would replace national currencies. The European
Parliament was unable to call it to account after 2009 when it flouted the
Maastricht Treaty by organising successive bail-outs of insolvent bank.