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Peoples and international law; how nationalism and self-determination shape a contemporary law of nations.


Peoples and international law; how nationalism and self-determination shape a contemporary law of nations.

Summers, James.

Martinus Nijhoff Publishers


464 pages



The Erik Castren Institute monographs on international law and human rights; v.8


The right of peoples to self-determination is considered a core principle of international law, yet according to Summers (international law and human rights, U. of Lancaster, UK) it is both contested and notoriously ambiguous. Their monograph attempts to put self-determination on firmer ground by examining the sources of the law, exploring the ideas and historical context that underlie it, and critically analyzing its rhetoric and application. They develop a hybrid approach, combining nationalist and legal perspectives, which shifts the focus away from peoples as sociological entities and towards their role as political ideas. Over the course of five chapters they discuss basic concepts, consider the historical basis of the interaction between nationalism and international law, explore the drafting of international instruments on self-determination, examine how courts and other international bodies have responded to cases involving self-determination, and summarize their legal understanding of self-determination. Martinus Nijhoff is an imprint of Brill.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 1, 2007
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