As Kamari Clarke, Professor of Global and International Studies, began her keynote address at the FPA Research Excellence Symposium, she described the global hopes for the International Criminal Court (ICC) when it was established in 2001.
“The idea was for state actors to work together through international organizations to solve their problems,” Professor Clarke told the audience. “But the notion of international engagement is often more fictive than real.”
In her talk entitled, “Liberal International Institutionalism on the Decline? Rethinking African Treaty Withdrawals,” Professor Clarke described the “vibrant pan-African pushback” against the ICC. Since its inception, it has brought forward 22 cases, all of which involve an African state.
In response, the predominant narrative in Africa is that this embodies colonialism in a new form, said Professor Clarke, who is cross-appointed to the Department of Law and Legal Studies as well as Sociology and Anthropology. She quoted Rwandan president Paul Kagame—one of those questioning the ICC’s legitimacy– who said the ICC was “only put in place for African countries.”
Professor Clarke’s address was followed by talks by three invited scholars:
- · Siba Grovogi, Professor of International Relations Theory and Law at Cornell University;
- · Sara Kendall, Co-Director at the Centre for Critical International Law at Kent Law School, UK; and
- · Bronwyn Leebaw, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of California, Riverside.
Professor Clarke is the winner of the 2017 FPA Research Excellence Award. The award provides the winner with a $10,000 grant, as well as the opportunity to hold a public lecture or symposium organized and funded by the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Public Affairs.
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