Answer BOTH of these questions:
- How has this state’s position on the legality of the use of force changed over the last 45 years?
- What explains these changes? Possible things to consider include: New kinds of arguments becoming accepted as international law, changing state attitudes towards international law, changing domestic politics, broader ideological shifts, ‘self-entrapment’ because of previous positions taken on other issues, changing state interests, changes to the global economy and this state’s position in it, new geo-political alliances, activism around particular issues, and more.
It needs to be exactly 1500 words, not less or more.
- You must read the compulsory bibliography for your chosen country (see list below) and some other academic sources you have found for yourself. The exact number of extra sources you find will depend on how happy you are with your argument and how much work you want to put in. (You may obviously need to revise the recent history of the country you are studying in its broad outlines.)
- Note the weighting for both questions. You cannot simply write a descriptive piece. Use readings from all the weeks we have done throughout the course to think about why states take certain positions, and why these positions change. As noted in Question 2, possible things to consider include: New kinds of arguments becoming accepted as international law, changing state attitudes towards international law, changing domestic politics, broader ideological shifts, ‘self-entrapment’ because of previous positions taken on other issues, changing state interests, changes to the global economy and this state’s position in it, new geo-political alliances, activism around particular issues etc. If you use international relations theory (realism, constructivism etc.) that’s fine, but you will not be marked down if you don’t.
- You should be precise with language without worrying about legal technicalities. Use the distinction between legal and legitimate that we discussed in week 5 to help you if need be. By ‘position on legality’ we mean general statements such as: ‘intervention is legal without Security Council resolution in case of mass atrocities’, ‘international law has become a tool of the Third World ‘tyranny of the majority’ at the UN and can legitimately be ignored’, ‘intervention without Security Council is legitimate if not legal only in case of mass atrocities’, ‘intervention in socialist states is legal since the boundaries between socialist states are artificial’, and ‘intervention is legal if the Security Council veto has been used irrationally’.
- We recommend that you divide your answer into two parts, each answering one question, but if you wish to do so you may organise your answer so that you answer both questions simultaneously. The structure is entirely up to you. You don’t need to devote exactly 750 words to each answer, but your response shouldn’t be unbalanced in favour of one of the questions.
- Do not include a waffly intro with pointless context that everyone knows: e.g. ‘Russia’s attitude towards international law is increasingly in the news, and is very important to understand because … etc, etc’. Get straight to the point.
- You must ensure you do not plagiarise. Any words that are not your own must be in quote marks with a reference. All ideas that are not your own must be referenced. All references to specific quotes or pieces of information must have a page number so that we can check them. If you are unsure how to do this, keep the document on QM+ entitled ‘how to reference’ open in front of you at all times when writing.
Resources that must be used (everything you need about resources is mentioned above):
- John. N. Hazard. “New thinking” in Soviet approaches to International Politics and Law.” Pace Yearbook Of International Law 2:1 (1990): https://digitalcommons.pace.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1005&context=pilr
- Marko Milanovic. “Crimea, Kosovo, Hobgoblins and Hypocrisy.” EJIL Talk! March 20th 2014: https://www.ejiltalk.org/crimea-kosovo-hobgoblins-and-hypocrisy/
- Marko Milanovic. “What is Russia’s Legal Justification for Using Force against Ukraine?” EJIL Talk! February 22nd 2022: https://www.ejiltalk.org/what-is-russias-legal-justification-for-using-force-against-ukraine/
- Phillipa Hethrington and Ben Noble, “Russia doesn’t just violate international law – it follows and shapes it too.” The Conversation March 23rd 2018: http://theconversation.com/russia-doesnt-just-violate-international-law-it-follows-and-shapes-it-too-92700
- C.J. Borgen, “Law, Rhetoric, Strategy: Russia and Self-Determination Before and After Crimea.” Stockton Center for International Law (2014). Available at: https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://scholar.google.co.uk/&httpsredir=1&article=1262&context=ils
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