Non-state actors in international law: oscillating between concepts and dynamics
Participants in the international legal system: multiple perspectives on non-state actors in international law
Faculty of Law (FdR)
Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL)
This paper is the introductory chapter of the volume ‘Participants in the International Legal Systems - Multiple Perspectives
on Non-State Actors in International Law’ (Routledge, 2011). On top of providing a summary of each chapter of the volume,
it makes the argument that the studying the status and the role of non-state actors in international law brings us at the
crossroads of dynamics-based and static conceptions of international law. More specifically, it points to the tension - at
the heart of this volume - between the dynamic idea of participation and the static concepts of subjects, personality, rules
and responsibility inherent in any legal system. Such questions are discussed in relation to a wide variety of fields, including
international human rights, international humanitarian law, international investment law, international institutional law,
international criminal law or the law on the use of force.
This volume features contributions by renowned scholars,
each of whom focuses on a particular theory or tradition of international law, a region, an institutional regime or a particular
subject-matter, and considers how that perspective impacts on our understanding of the role and status of non-State actors.
The book takes a critical approach as it seeks to gauge the extent to which each conception and understanding of international
law is instrumental in the perception of non-State actors. In doing so the volume provides a wide panorama of all the contemporary
legal issues arising in connection with the growing role of non-state actors in international-law making and international
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