30 Jun Virginia Journal of International Law, Vol. 48-4: Online Symposium
The Virginia Journal of International Law will continue its partnership with Opinio Juris this week with an online symposium featuring three articles recently published in VJIL Vol. 48-4, available here.
Our discussion on Tuesday will focus on the constitutional history of American empire at the turn of the twentieth century. In her article, “They say I am not an American…”: The Noncitizen National and the Law of American Empire, Christina Duffy Burnett (Columbia) revisits the historical events surrounding the Supreme Court’s decision in Gonzales v. Williams (1904), which relegated Puerto Ricans to an ambiguous status between alienage and citizenship. Challenging mainstream historical critiques which focus on the ways in which the United States unilaterally imposed its own law abroad and influenced other legal traditions, Professor Burnett analyzes the events surrounding the Gonzales decision to argue that the civic and political leaders of the colonial periphery brought a transnational perspective to the debate over law and American empire and transformed U.S. law in the process. Professor Mae Ngai (Columbia) and Sam Erman (University of Michigan) will be the respondents.
On Wednesday, Martin Totaro will discuss Legal Positivism, Constructivism, and International Human Rights Law: The Case of Participatory Development. Mr. Totaro uses the debate surrounding the right to participatory development as a lens for viewing international human rights law generally. By offering a typology of international human rights law and applying that typology to recent shifts in rhetoric and practice at the World Bank regarding participatory development, Mr. Totaro examines the sociopolitical nature of rights recognition as a means of describing the early stages of norm development within customary international law. Galit Sarfaty (Harvard) will be the respondent.
On Thursday, we will conclude our symposium with a look at the role of empiricism in international investment law. In her essay Empiricism and International Law: Insights for Investment Treaty Dispute Resolution, Susan Franck (Washington & Lee) considers the recent move towards the reintegration of international law and empiricism and proposes five steps towards the creation of an empirical research agenda for international investment treaty dispute resolution. Professor David Zaring (Wharton) will be the respondent.
We encourage you to join in the online discussion this week. Throughout the symposium, we hope that you will visit our website to read full copies of the articles and to continue the scholarly conversation.