Please note that this lecture has been cancelled on short notice, because of a flight cancellation. The lecture will be rescheduled. More information to follow. In this Sustainable Global Economic Law lecture, Margot Salomon (London School of Economics) will present her recent paper 'Nihilists, Pragmatists and Peasants: A Dispatch on Contradiction in International Human Rights Law.'
My recent essay, Nihilists, Pragmatists and Peasants: A Dispatch on Contradiction in International Human Rights Law, engages theory to help human rights advocates see what they may not have seen before. It focuses on the new UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants drawing on the commodity form theory of law developed by the Soviet jurist Evgeny Pashukanis. Pashukanis provided a far reaching critique of law that cautioned against a ‘radicalism that unconsciously remains imprisoned’ within a capitalist frame of reference. Through this lens an analysis of the contradiction in what is at times a radical normative project in international human rights law is presented, with theoretical insight helping to reveal the paradoxes that have ostensible human rights successes perpetuate the suffering they seek to confront. But are we, then, to abandon law altogether? In building on the dilemmas that come from capitalism’s connection to international law exposed in the essay, this presentation will explore means through which deploying human rights law might, yet, subvert the status quo.
Dr Margot E Salomon is Associate Professor in the Department of Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Director of the interdisciplinary Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy at LSE Human Rights. In 2017-18 she was a Visiting Scholar at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, working on an EUfunded project entitled ‘Legal Rights and the Political Economy of Debt and Austerity in Europe’ and in 2018-19 held a Francqui International Chair. Dr Salomon has advised widely including for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Bank’s Nordic Trust Fund, the UN Highlevel Task Force on the Right to Development, and the President of the Greek Parliament in 2015. Among her recent publications is the Misery of International Law: Confrontations with Injustice in the Global Economy (OUP 2018) with John Linarelli and M Sornarajah which was awarded the 2019 European Society of International Law Book Prize.