Mittelweg 36 – New Issue with Contributions from PRIF

Regine Schwab and Hendrik Simon discuss the sociology of the international legal order

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Once again, the crisis of the liberal world order and recent con­flicts spark the debate on international law: what is the value of international law in the light of re­peated violations of boundaries as well as military conflicts in Ukraine, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Middle East? Can interna­tional law really contribute to building a global architecture of peace or is it merely a fragile order?

These questions are at the heart of the new German-language issue of the journal “Mittelweg 36 - Zeitschrift des Hamburger Instituts für Sozialfor­schung”, which was published on June 12, 2024. Under the title “Grenz­überschreitungen. Zur Soziologie der Weltrechtsordnung", authors ex­plore the potential and limits of international law in various articles.

Two PRIF scholars con­tribute to this debate in their articles. In his contribution “Vertrauen und entgrenzte Gewalt. Zu einer »besonderen Konstellation der Moderne« auf inter- und transnationaler Ebene”, Hendrik Simon uses the practice of war legitimi­zation to examine the extent to which trust in the ban of the use of force is negotiated in con­flicts.

Regine Schwab explores the trans­formation of armed conflicts in recent decades. In her article entitled “Transformation des Krieges und Angriffe auf zivile Infrastruktur”, she dis­cusses the trend towards increasingly attacking civilian facilities during war, which re­sults in a growing number of indirect victims of military violence.

Further articles in the issue by Henning de Vries and Alfons Bora analyze the behavior-coordinating power of in­ternational law from a system-theoretical perspective and Jan-Philipp Reemtsma dis­cusses the effects of the need to justify violence at the interstate level. Sophie Löber's con­tribution focuses on the possibility of international criminal law to react to actors who facilitate war crimes through in­action or indifference. Finally, Henning de Vries con­cludes the issue by discussing the ability of international law to promote stable structures in dealing with political crises.

More information on the German-language issue can be found online.