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Hassfurther, I (2018). Transforming the “International Unsociety”: Towards Eutopia by Means of International Recognition of Peoples’ Representatives. German Yearbook of International Law, 60(1), 451-480. https://doi.org/10.3790/gyil.60.1.451
Hassfurther, Isabelle (2018). "Transforming the “International Unsociety”: Towards Eutopia by Means of International Recognition of Peoples’ Representatives" German Yearbook of International Law, vol. 60no. 1, 2018 pp. 451-480. https://doi.org/10.3790/gyil.60.1.451
Hassfurther, I (2018). Transforming the “International Unsociety”: Towards Eutopia by Means of International Recognition of Peoples’ Representatives. German Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 60 (Issue 1), pp 451-480. https://doi.org/10.3790/gyil.60.1.451

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Transforming the “International Unsociety”: Towards Eutopia by Means of International Recognition of Peoples’ Representatives

Hassfurther, Isabelle

German Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 60 (2018), Iss. 1 : pp. 451–480

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Isabelle Hassfurther, PhD Candidate, Walther Schücking Institute for International Law; LLM (University of Cambridge).

Abstract

This paper proposes a criterion of legitimacy for recognition of governments as a contribution to the “revolution in the mind”, a procedural vehicle towards a transformed international society envisioned by Philip Allott in his latest work ‘Eutopia’. It is suggested that in order to promote a shift from mere State co-existence to Allott’s Eutopia – a unified and flourishing human society – the representatives participating in the international process of renegotiating common values and ideas must be chosen according to a criterion coinciding with this end, not based on effective territorial control. Against this background, different contemporary proposals for determining legitimacy of governments are discussed, none of which seem apt to designate those employing the central mediating function between inner-State societies and the international sphere. Neither constitutional legality nor imposing a system of democratic legitimation necessarily ensure adequate representation of the free choice of the peoples. By contrast, the right to political self-determination, understood as an entitlement to exercise public sovereignty and be represented by the chosen government, provides a point of departure for a criterion of legitimacy sufficiently respecting normative expectations of the distinct national societies. Beyond this relative component, however, the dual role of legitimacy on the international plane calls for certain additional criteria reflecting a prospective international society’s core values. Therefore, a regime’s commission of mass atrocities, violating ius cogens norms which prioritise human beings and their flourishing, invariably deprives it of legitimacy to participate in the international self-constituting. A criterion of legitimacy so understood – combining relative and absolute standards of legitimacy, thereby ensuring the representation of varying societies’ ideas while safeguarding certain international core standards – could facilitate a ‘transitory Eutopia’ of legitimate peoples’ representatives, ultimately serving as a catalyst towards Allott’s “shared humanity of all human beings”.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Isabelle Hassfurther: Transforming the “International Unsociety”: Towards Eutopia by Means of International Recognition of Peoples’ Representatives 1
I. Introduction – Abuses of Power in an “International Unsociety” 2
II. Eutopian Quests for Legitimate Peoples’ Representation 6
A. Whose Eutopia? Legitimacy and International Recognition 7
1. Different Subjects of Legitimacy … 9
2. … with Different Normative Expectations … 1
3. ... Leading to Different ‘Legitimacy Eutopias’ 1
B. Contemporary Criteria of Legitimacy – Eutopia or Dystopia? 1
1. Relative Normative Expectations of Peoples –A Right to Representative Governments 1
2. Absolute Normative Expectations of the “International Unsociety” 1
a) Cementing Illegitimate Regimes –Self-Determination versus Legality 1
b) A Shared International Eutopia? –The Alleged Gold Standard of Democracy 1
III. A ‘Transitory Eutopia’ – Reconciliation of Relative and Absolute Standards of Legitimacy 2
A. Relative Normative Expectations of Peoples 2
B. Absolute Normative Expectations of an “International Society” 2
IV. Towards Eutopia – Flourishing of a Human Society 2