Between equal rights : a Marxist theory of international law / China Miéville.
This one’s near the top of my “want to read” list
Too bad my “want to read” list exists below a huge stack of “required to read for class” list
If that title sounds familiar, I believe it comes from this bit of Marx:
The capitalist maintains his rights as a purchaser when he tries to make the working-day as long as possible, and to make, whenever possible, two working-days out of one. On the other hand, the peculiar nature of the commodity sold implies a limit to its consumption by the purchaser, and the labourer maintains his right as seller when he wishes to reduce the working-day to one of definite normal duration. There is here, therefore, an antinomy, right against right, both equally bearing the seal of the law of exchanges. Between equal rights force decides. Hence is it that in the history of capitalist production, the determination of what is a working-day, presents itself as the result of a struggle, a struggle between collective capital, i.e., the class of capitalists, and collective labour, i.e., the working-class.
Check out more on China Miéville. This book was his PhD thesis, and he’s a fantasy fiction writer by trade these days.
Table of contents for Between equal rights : a Marxist theory of international law / China Miéville.
Contents Introduction 1 1. 'International law has become important' 1 2. Materialism and dialectics 4 3. The structure of the book 5 Chapter One: 'The Vanishing Point of Jurisprudence': International Law in Mainstream Theory 9 1. Beyond deÞnition 9 2. Classic writers and debates 16 2.1. Disentangling denial 16 2.1.1. The will of the sovereign: Austin 18 2.1.2. The triumph of politics: Morgenthau 19 2.1.3. A third way? Carl Schmitt 25 2.2. Monism, dualism, positivism, naturalism 32 2.3. The high point of formalism: Kelsen 34 2.4. From rules to process: McDougal-Lasswell 37 Chapter Two: Dissident Theories: Critical Legal Studies and Historical Materialism 45 1. Beyond pragmatism 45 2. Koskenniemi and the contradictions of liberalism 48 3. Marxism and international law 60 3.1. The inadequacies of Soviet theory 60 3.2. Radicalism with rules: B.S. Chimni 64 Chapter Three: For Pashukanis: An Exposition and Defence of the Commodity-Form Theory of Law 75 1. The rise and fall of Pashukanis 75 2. The General Theory of Law and Marxism 77 2.1. Marxist method and the failure of alternative theories 79 2.1.1. Law as ideology 80 2.1.2. Law as iniquitous content 82 2.2. From the commodity form to the legal form 84 2.2.1. A note on history and logic 96 2.3. The withering away of law 97 3. Critiques and reconstructions 101 4. The relevance for international legal scholarship 113 Chapter Four: Coercion and the Legal Form: Politics, (International) Law and the State 117 1. The problem of politics 117 2. Pashukanis and state-derivation theory 122 3. (International) Law and the contingency of the state 128 4. (International) Law, politics and violence 133 4.1. Form, content, economics and politics in international law 137 4.2. The unlikely marriage of Pashukanis and McDougal 141 5. Problems 143 6. The violence of the legal form 150 Chapter Five: States, Markets and the Sea: Issues in the History of International Law 153 1. The invisibility of history 153 2. Origins and prehistory: an eternity of international law? 156 2.1. Pre-colonial theory: the non-Western birth of international law? 165 3. Colonialism and international law: the birth of a new order 169 3.1. Amity lines: colonialism beyond law's boundaries 179 4. The development of sovereignty: from politics to abstraction 184 4.1. Absolute ownership and Roman law 195 5. From maritime law to international law 197 5.1. Early codes: the mercantile maritime roots of international law 197 5.2. Lineages of the mercantilist state 201 5.2.1. The Navigation Acts 204 5.2.2. The East India Companies 206 5.2.3. The freedom of the seas: a dissident interpretation 208 5.3. Excursus: mercantilism and the transition to capitalism 214 5.4. Categories and dialectics 224 Chapter Six: Imperialism, Sovereignty and International Law 225 1. The nature of the relation 225 1.1. SpeciÞcity versus breadth 226 2. The crisis of mercantile colonialism 230 2.1. The imperialism of recognition 235 3. Ad-hoc legality in the nineteenth century 240 3.1. Positivism and its sources 241 3.2. 'Civilisation': a counterintuitive materialist analysis 243 3.3. Into Africa 248 4. The Berlin Conference and the 'scramble for Africa' 250 4.1. Mandates, colonies and sovereignty: tendencies and countertendencies 256 5. The empire of sovereignty 260 5.1. The international law of freedom? 268 6. New world order 271 6.1. Excursus: the Gulf War 272 6.2. The limits of legalistic opposition 275 7. The universality of legalism 281 7.1. Politics and the end of the rule 282 7.2. Force and law 286 8. Serving two masters: the imperialism of international law 289 Conclusion: Against the Rule of Law 295 1. Ideas, ideology and contestation 295 2. The rule of law's new advocates 304 2.1. From war to policing? 308 3. Against the rule of law 314 4. The future of the theory 318 Appendix: Pashukanis on International Law 321 Bibliography 337 Index 365
Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication:
International law and socialism.