The international legal system has weathered sweeping changes over the last decade as new participants have emerged. International law-making and law-enforcement processes have become increasingly multi-layered with unprecedented numbers of non-State actors, including individuals, insurgents, multinational corporations and even terrorist groups, being involved. This growth in the importance of non-State actors at the law-making and law-enforcement levels has generated a lot of new scholarly studies on the topic. However, while it remains uncontested that non-State actors are now playing an important role on the international plane, albeit in very different ways, international legal scholarship has remained riddled by controversy regarding the status of these new actors in international law.
This collection features contributions by renowned scholars, each of whom focuses on a particular theory or tradition of international law, a region, an institutional regime or a particular subject-matter, and considers how that perspective impacts on our understanding of the role and status of non-State actors. The book takes a critical approach as it seeks to gauge the extent to which each conception and understanding of international law is instrumental in the perception of non-State actors. In doing so the volume provides a wide panorama of all the contemporary legal issues arising in connection with the growing role of non-state actors in international-law making and international law-enforcement processes.
Jean d'Aspremont is Associate Professor of International Law and Senior Research Fellow of the Amsterdam Centre for International Law at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), Netherlands.