28 Nov Fresh Squeezed! Episode 1:2 – Margot Salomon
I don’t think there’s any part of international law that isn’t integrated and fully embedded within capitalism.Margot Salomon
Margot Salomon is a sought-after voice in the field of international law. She has a long history of challenging the conventional wisdom upon which international economic law is structured. I first encountered her work during my PhD and have been an avid reader of hers ever since. It was therefore a distinct privilege for Claire Smith and me to conduct an interview with her for Fresh Squeezed!*
Perhaps the most striking aspect of our discussion is how effortlessly Margot unravels the ties between international law and capitalism. Rather than being simply intertwined, international law is deeply ingrained within the capitalist system, and vice versa. She effectively illustrates these connections by drawing on her extensive experience at the UN and in legal academia, with a particular emphasis on socioeconomic rights. As many of us recognise, our role as international lawyers plays a crucial enabling function in maintaining the viability of the capitalist model. This part of the conversation offers a fascinating insight into the intricate ways in which economic systems shape our legal framework for anyone interested in understanding these nuances.
Margot delves deeper into the realm of emancipation through rights and culture when speaking to the importance of “economic culture” in the context of human rights law. She specifically focuses on the Peasants Declaration and the moral economy of the peasant, and how this declaration challenges global capitalism. Her unique perspective on the power of cultural rights and alternative economic arrangements within the human rights sphere offers a fresh outlook on the potential for emancipation through these means.
Margot’s approach encourages us to reevaluate our perceptions of the roles and limitations of international law within a capitalist society. Because her optimistic and radical outlook, she offers a glimmer of hope for the future of human rights, particularly about how they can be reimagined and restructured to promote global justice. This was more than just an interview; it was an intellectual journey designed to broaden our thinking.
You can access the transcript in English. It will soon be available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Hindi, Portuguese, and Spanish.
* Claire and Mohsen interviewed Margot in July 2023. Due to a delay in the launch of Fresh Squeezed!, we are publishing her interview now. As always, the views are those of the authors and guest and not other members of Opinio Juris.