The Law of Humanity Project

An Immanent Critique

    Tutkimustuotos: OpinnäyteVäitöskirjaMonografia

    Kuvaus

    The 1990s and the first years of the twenty-first century witnessed the sporadic emergence of a new vision of global law – one based on the human individual and humanity at large. Although it has taken many different forms, this vision has been uniform in its push to radically alter how we understand international law by seeking to posit the human as the primary subject of the international legal order and humanity as its main source of legitimacy. The vision is spelled out rather explicitly in some academic works, hinted at in others, and pops up here and there in international legal practice. Together, the thesis calls these instances “the law of humanity project”. The thesis provides an immanent critique of that project. In particular, it focuses on the outcomes of the project, asking how might the circulation of the humanity language, and in particular the claim that we are or should be moving towards law of humanity, produce and sustain such relations of power which are inimical to the aims of the project? In so doing, the thesis proceeds through three steps. Part I situates the emergence of the law of humanity project in a specific historical and theoretical context in the post-Cold War period and analyses its different academic manifestations. The central finding is that the project seeks to achieve its goals by increasing the importance and circulation of certain key concepts which are assumed to change the way we perceive international law. Three such concepts are identified, namely human rights, human security and human dignity. Part II challenges the underlying assumption of the law of humanity project that the increased relevance of the aforementioned concepts would necessarily change international law to the direction desired by the proponents of the project. Addressing each of the concepts individually, the Part argues that due to their indeterminacy, all of the concepts can be used for myriad purposes, some of which can be entirely opposite to the aims of the law of humanity theorists. Part III shifts gear and focuses on how humanity rhetoric has actually been used in action, and with what outcomes. The Part makes two key arguments for the entire thesis. The first is that although the humanity rhetoric has been impressive, it is not clear that it would have increased the well-being of individuals or empowered them. Where the rhetoric has clearly made an impact, however, is in disciplining the state and in allowing deep-penetrating interventions into what goes on within states and how they are organized. The second key argument is that the law of humanity project may operate like an ideology, obscuring how the humanity rhetoric can be used to produce and sustain relations of power by presenting all uses of rhetoric as further steps in a rather linear story culminating in the emergence of “law of humanity”. In so doing, it may enable such relations of power which are inimical to the main ideas of the law of humanity project and which are difficult to reconcile with the humanity rhetoric. This is so in particular because of forms of power/knowledge which may greatly benefit from the law of humanity project disciplining the state.
    Alkuperäiskielienglanti
    Myöntävä instituutio
    • Helsingin yliopisto
    Valvoja/neuvonantaja
    • Koskenniemi, Martti, Valvoja
    Myöntöpäivämäärä11 joulukuuta 2018
    JulkaisupaikkaHelsinki
    Kustantaja
    Painoksen ISBN978-951-51-4674-8
    Sähköinen ISBN978-951-51-4675-5
    TilaJulkaistu - 11 joulukuuta 2018
    OKM-julkaisutyyppiG4 Tohtorinväitöskirja (monografia)

    Tieteenalat

    • 513 Oikeustiede

    Lainaa tätä

    Soirila, U. (2018). The Law of Humanity Project: An Immanent Critique. Helsinki: University of Helsinki.
    Soirila, Ukri. / The Law of Humanity Project : An Immanent Critique. Helsinki : University of Helsinki, 2018. 306 Sivumäärä
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    Soirila, U 2018, 'The Law of Humanity Project: An Immanent Critique', Helsingin yliopisto, Helsinki.

    The Law of Humanity Project : An Immanent Critique. / Soirila, Ukri.

    Helsinki : University of Helsinki, 2018. 306 s.

    Tutkimustuotos: OpinnäyteVäitöskirjaMonografia

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    Soirila U. The Law of Humanity Project: An Immanent Critique. Helsinki: University of Helsinki, 2018. 306 s.