Upcoming Events

15.10.2020 Paths Panel III: Norm(ative) Change in International Relations: A Conceptual Framework
Antje Wiener, Professor of Political Science and Global Governance, University of Hamburg

Discussant: Erna Burai, Postdoctoral Researcher, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies – IHEID
Moderator: Nico Krisch, Professor of International Law and Co-Director of the Global Governance Centre, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies – IHEID

Current contestations of the liberal international order stand in notable contrast with the earlier rise of international law during the post-cold war period. As Krieger and Liese argue, this situation calls for assessment of the type of change that is currently observed, i.e. norm change (Wandel) or a more fundamental transformation of international law – a metamorphosis (Verwandlung)? To address this question, this paper details the bi-focal approach to norms in order to reflect and take account of the complex interrelation between fact-based and value-based conceptions of norms.

Past Events

28.10.2019 In the Name of the Holy Trinity: Examining Credibility under Anarchy through 250 Years of Treaty-Making
Krzysztof J. Pelc, Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar, Department of Political Science McGill University

Where does the binding force of international treaties come from?

This article considers three centuries of international peace treaties to chart how signatories have sought to convince one another of the viability of their commitments. It shows how one means of doing so was by invoking divine authority: treaty violations were punished by divine sanction in heaven and excommunication on earth.

6-7.06.2019 The Paths of International Law Workshop

Convenors: Nico Krisch, Professor of International Law and Co-Director of the Global Governance Centre, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies – IHEID
Ezgi Yildiz, Postdoctoral Researcher, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies – IHEID

In the workshop, we seek to bring together leading and rising scholars from different
disciplines – law, international relations, and political sociology – to explore these issues in a small and interactive format. We are particularly interested in sharpening the contrasts
between different theoretical and methodological approaches, and invite participants to
develop distinctive arguments rather than ecumenical accounts. If you are interested in joining the workshop as an auditor for the morning sessions please contact the PATHS team. The preliminary programme is now available here.

16.05.2019 Paths Panel II: The Authority of Legal Instruments: Perspectives from IHL and Environmental Law

This panel brings together recent research analyzing the authority of legal instruments – be it international, regional or national – in the fields of IHL and International Environmental Law.

Linus Mührel, Freie Universität Berlin
“The Authority of Interpretations and Law-Ascertainments of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Course of Times”
Linus examines how the ICRC’s output has impacted the contemporary understanding of relevant notions of IHL in the legal practice of international courts, states, as well as in international legal scholarship, thereby succeeding in occasioning change in international law.

Aylin Yildiz, World Trade Institute
“The Law and Governance of Climate Change and Migration: A Case Study from Fiji”
Aylin analyses the recent climate change and migration instruments of Fiji in light of regional and international initiatives, and finds that cooperative governance structures are crucial to inform and strengthen national frameworks.

Discussants: Lucy Lu Reimers, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies – IHEID, Francesco Romani, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law- University of Cambridge

12.12.2018 Paths Panel I: Transnational Lawmaking
Nina Reiners, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Chair of International Politics, University of Potsdam, Johannes Fahner, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Luxembourg
Discussant: Ezgi Yildiz, Postdoctoral Researcher, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies – IHEID
Moderator: Nico Krisch, Professor of International Law and Co-Director of the Global Governance Centre, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies – IHEID

This panel brings together new research on international adjudication and transnational lawmaking coalitions. In particular, the participants discuss the authority of international judges and the treaty bodies, and shed light on international lawmaking processes.
Dr Reiners will present her research insights from her postdoctoral projectFrom International to Transnational Human Rights Lawmaking”, while Dr Hendrik Fahner will share his research insights from his dissertationIntensity of Review in International Courts and Tribunals – A Comparative Analysis of Deference“.

03.12.2018 Colloquium: Measuring the Topology of Institutional Complexity
James Hollway, Assistant Professor Political Science/International Relations, IHEID

To date the research on regime complexes has typically developed theory with reference to single policy areas. Our paper argues that a comparative perspective on both the statics and dynamics of regime complexity is an important next step in theory development, but that commensuration is first required. Given different characteristics across policy domains, we propose a topological typology based on two structural dimensions: dominance and coherence.

29.10.2018 Colloquium: An Extended Critique of International Adjudication
Ingo Venzke, Professor of International Law and Social Justice, University of Amsterdam

The paper illustrates how different ways of thinking about past judicial decisions effects their appearance. More specifically, it draws on insights from experiments to show what explaining past judicial decisions not only increases the perceived likelihood of those decisions but also makes them look more just. Conversely, thinking about alternative decisions makes them look less likely and less agreeable. In short, the appearance of the path of international law very much depends on the posture with which it is received.

06.06.2018 Colloquium: Human Rights Treaty Obligations and State Commitment
Wayne Sandholtz, Professor of International Relations and Law, University of Southern California

Research on human rights treaty commitment analyzes the costs of ratifying treaties in terms of regime type and other state-level attributes. But little scholarship to date has analyzed the effects of treaty design, in particular, the substance of treaty obligations, on the likelihood of ratification. We analyze new data that code every provision of ten global human rights treaties for the strength and precision of the obligations they contain. We classify obligations that are strong, precise, and that require domestic action as “demanding.” We hypothesize that treaties containing more of these demanding obligations would be seen as more costly to ratify because they imply potentially greater policy adaptation or compliance costs. Event history analyses are consistent with that hypothesis.

04.06.2018 PATHS Brainstorming Workshop

This workshop brought together scholars from the Graduate Institute and the broader Geneva area to discuss preliminary ideas for the project. The aim was to explore potential synergies with other research projects currently undertaken in Geneva and beyond, and engage in a fruitful interdisciplinary dialogue. We also initiated a conversation about the ways in which legal change occurs in different issue areas and the differences between them.

14.05.2018 Colloquium: Global Lawmakers: The Sociology of International Organizations in the Crafting of World Markets
Terence Halliday, Research Professor, American Bar Foundation, and Susan Block-Lieb, Professor of Law, Fordham Law School

Global lawmaking by international organizations holds the potential for enormous influence over world trade and national economies. Representatives from states, industries, and professions produce laws for worldwide adoption in an effort to alter state lawmaking and commercial behaviors, whether of giant multi-national corporations or micro, small and medium-sized businesses. Who makes that law and who benefits affects all states and all market players. Global Lawmakers offers the first extensive empirical study of commercial lawmaking within the United Nations. It shows who makes law for the world, how they make it, and who comes out ahead.
Using extensive and unique data, the book investigates three episodes of lawmaking between the late 1990s and 2012. Through its original socio-legal orientation, it reveals dynamics of competition, cooperation and competitive cooperation within and between international organizations, including the UN, World Bank, IMF and UNIDROIT, as these IOs craft international laws.
Global Lawmakers proposes an original theory of international organizations that seek to construct transnational legal orders within social ecologies of lawmaking. The book concludes with an appraisal of creative global governance by the UN in international commerce over the past fifty years and examines prospective challenges for the twenty-first century.