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Diversity and Self-Determination in International Law

Diversity and Self-Determination in International Law


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Part of Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law

  • Date Published: April 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521781787

£ 108.00

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About the Authors
  • The emergence of new states and independence movements after the Cold War has intensified the long-standing disagreement among international lawyers over the right of self-determination, especially the right of secession. Knop shifts the discussion from the articulation of the right to its interpretation. She argues that the practice of interpretation involves and illuminates a problem of diversity raised by the exclusion of many of the groups that self-determination most affects. Distinguishing different types of exclusion and the relationships between them reveals the deep structures, biases and stakes in the decisions and scholarship on self-determination. Knop's analysis also reveals that the leading cases have grappled with these embedded inequalities. Challenges by colonies, ethnic nations, indigenous peoples, women and others to the gender and cultural biases of international law emerge as integral to the interpretation of self-determination historically, as do attempts by judges and other institutional interpreters to meet these challenges.

    • Brings a fresh normative perspective (diversity) to a familiar question in international law (self-determination)
    • New normative perspective yields a new historical analysis, including a history of gender-based challenges to the meaning of self-determination
    • New historical analysis, in turn, contributes a new understanding of the current debate over self-determination and the more general debate over law and diversity
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    • Winner of the 2003 American Society of International Law Prize

    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: '… Karen Knop presents a series of careful, yet provocative, readings of international legal texts on self-determination.' Fleur Johns, Leiden Journal of International Law

    Review of the hardback: 'Knop has written a highly impressive, intelligent and sensitive study which is compulsory reading for anyone with an interest in self-determination and, more broadly, for anyone interested in seeing how international law can be used creatively yet responsibly.' International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2002
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521781787
    • length: 460 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 158 x 37 mm
    • weight: 0.803kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Cold War International Legal Literature:
    1. The question of norm-type
    2. Interpretation and identity
    3. Pandemonium, interpretation and participation
    Part II. Self-determination interpreted in practice: the challenge of culture:
    4. The canon of self-determination
    5. Developing texts
    Part III. Self-Determination Interpreted in Practice: The Challenge of Gender:
    6. Women and self-determination in Europe after World War I
    7. Women and self-determination in United Nations trust territories
    8. Indigenous women and self-determination

  • Author

    Karen Knop, University of Toronto
    KAREN KNOP is Associate Professor of Law in the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, where she teaches international law and issues of self-determination in international law. She is editor, with Sylvia Ostry, Richard Simeon and Katherine Swinton of Re-Thinking Federalism: Citizens, Markets and Governments in a Changing World (1995).


    • Winner of the 2003 American Society of International Law Prize

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