“Liberal International Institutionalism on the Decline? Rethinking African Treaty Withdrawals”
The 2018 Research Excellence Symposium will feature Professor Kamari Clarke’s research on the formation of new justice mechanisms as a way to rethink the prevailing trend in the judicialisation of justice, often characterized through the popular metaphor of the Justice Cascade. As a space for the study of norms, the justice cascade is posited by some scholars as a manifestation of a new justice norm – that of holding individuals criminally responsible for human rights violations and increasing criminal prosecutions. However, this symposium features Clarke’s argument that this development is actually not a trend that is producing a new justice norm. Rather, recent announcements of African treaty withdrawal strategies and neo-conservative reactions to international institutionalism represent a long arc in 20th and 21st-century state struggles to rethink the basis upon which justice norms should be articulated.
The symposium will create a space to discuss both empirical and substantive changes within the international justice field and to rethink the theoretical models for understanding them. Guest scholars will be invited to map out the pros and cons of these arguments. They will assess whether a new way of thinking about international justice is needed in the contemporary period and what the building blocks of such developments should be. It will be an important forum for reflecting on the state and future of international law in daily life.