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Hamzić, Vanja (2016) 'Review of: Ethnicity and International Law: Histories, Politics and Practices by Mohammad Shahabuddin.' Melbourne Journal of International Law, 17 (2). pp. 489-493.

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Mohammad Shahabuddin’s book is a comprehensive and much-needed historical study of the role of ethnicity in the making of international law. It calls for a heightened attention to a pair of opposites: the nineteenth-century Romantic idea of the nation-state as a living organism and the liberal tradition that rejected it in favour of a peculiar project of post-ethnic universalism, albeit with Europe as its omphalos. The book attends to the idea of ethnicity as it travels through the following historical incarnations: the nineteenth-century Romantic and liberal discourses on the ‘self’ and the ‘other’; German and French colonialism; the inter-war minority protection regime; Cold War and post-Cold War international law; and, finally, contemporary international legal responses to so-called ‘ethnic conflicts’. Walking along the thus-charted historical trajectory, this brief review interrogates the salience of the proposed analytical dichotomy between the Romantic and liberal traditions for our understanding of international law’s consistently troubled relationship with ethnicity. At a certain point, an apparition joins the walk.

Item Type: Book Reviews
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Law
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Law > Centre for the study of Colonialism, Empire and International Law (CCEIL)
School Research Centres > Centre for the Study of Colonialism, Empire and International Law
Departments and Subunits > School of Law
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2017 17:20

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