ILA Seminar Series - States of Protest: International Law and the Distribution of Democracy

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Wednesday 23rd March 2022 (15:00-16:15)

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ILA Seminar Series: States of Protest: International Law and the Distribution of Democracy, Professor Karen Knop,  University of Toronto

The Donald Trump baby blimp flies over Parliament Square in London during the US President’s visit.  A “Comfort Woman” statue faces the Japanese Embassy in Seoul.  International civil society both is an idea of a place and takes place: protests happen in real locations.  International law may be made in a notional realm outside the state, but treaties in fact are concluded in Geneva, or Vienna, or some other national city that will become shorthand for the treaty.  The United Nations is both an idea of an international organization and the materiality of unpaid diplomatic parking tickets and free-speech zones policed outside UN missions in New York City.   

Exploring the interplay of ideas of place in international law with taking place, this paper pursues the issue of international law and the distribution of democracy, using peaceful protests outside embassies as a case study in how to theorize the interplay of international and local law that produces or suppresses transnationalized or internationalized spaces of protest.


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