From territoriality to universality? : jurisdiction, expertise and the politics of humanity in International Law

Drenker dos Reis, Filipe Robert Rodrigues

The dissertation explores the politics of jurisdiction in international law. In order to do so, it reconstructs jurisdictional projects pursued by scholars and experts particularly in the context of ‘humanity’s law’. The thesis concentrates on (legal) technicalities and argues for the importance to ‘open black boxes’ such as interdisciplinarity, expertise – or jurisdiction. In a first part, it primarily focuses on the (inter)disciplinary dimension of studying the politics of international law by mapping different interdisciplinary projects between International Relations and International Law, and highlighting core topics among critical scholars in both disciplines. In a second part, the dissertation moves then to analyse the concept of jurisdiction in world politics. It situates discussions about jurisdiction within the discourse on the politics of international legal expertise and argues, by means of problematization and historical inquiry, to leave the common notion of jurisdiction in international law (as exclusive and territorial) behind and instead to grasp jurisdiction as non-territorial, post-Cartesian, multidimensional and non-exclusive. This becomes particularly visible in the context of ‘humanity’s law’. Therefore, the dissertation ends with two explorations into the politics of jurisdiction in ‘humanity’s law’: first, it analyses the politics of crimes in international criminal law and how by means of widening the scope of international crimes international legal experts attempt to augment this strand of ‘humanity’s law’; second, it explores how in the broader discourse on humanitarian intervention within and around the United Nations jurisdictional projects expand, through risk-based forms of governance, through time.



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Drenker dos Reis, Filipe: From territoriality to universality?. jurisdiction, expertise and the politics of humanity in International Law. 2019.

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