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Thursday, November 13, 2014

New Publication: The Common Interest in International Law

I am excited to announce the publication a book I co-edited on the pursuance of common interest in international law. 

Wolfgang Benedek, Koen De Feyter, Matthias C. Kettemann and Christina Voigt (eds.)

Law & Cosmopolitan Values, volume 5

ISBN 978-1-78068-271-6
xiv + 234 pp. | hardback
72 euros | 98 US dollars | 68 GB pounds

Series price: 61.20 euros
83 US dollars | 58 GB pounds


What lies in the common interest of the international community? How are those common interests protected? What is the role of states and of the international community? The Common Interest in International Law provides answers to these key questions that international law is faced with in times of globalization, humanization and climate change.

This book looks at the protection of common interests and shows how international law is progressively moving away from a system based on territorial sovereignty to a system based on shared responsibilities among states and other actors. The areas covered range from human rights law, international environmental law and international security law to international economic law and international litigation.

The editors’ objective is to investigate whether and how international law which historically is state-centric and consensual can protect common interests of humanity, when such common interests can only be safeguarded with the commitment and cooperation of all state and non-state actors. The issue of collective interests is subject to numerous current discourses in international law. This volume attempts to tie these together to a new – or renewed – understanding of ‘common interest’ reflective of contemporary challenges in international law. The concept of ‘common interest’ suggests that more is at stake in international law than the individual self-interests of states. Such notion might hold the key to transforming international law away from the dominance of sovereignty into a system which truly serves the interest of the “community”, including all relevant actors.

This book is essential reading for all scholars and practitioners of international law. It aims at stimulating and defining the topic of the protection of common interests by the international community across geographical as much as disciplinary boundaries.

‘This is an important and multi-faceted book on one of the most urgent challenges of our time: the protection of our common interests. The book provides a solid platform for further research in this area.’
Professor Geir Ulfstein, Director, Pluricourts - Center of Excellence for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order, University of Oslo

‘The Common Interest in International Law is a fascinating, timely and innovative expert account of what common interests are, who defines them and what are their legal implications. At the same time it seeks to provide an answer to the fundamental and timeless question: what is international law for?’
Professor Katja Ziegler, Sir Robert Jennings Professor of International Law, Director of the Centre of European Law and Internationalisation (CELI), School of Law, University of Leicester

‘A carefully composed book, The Common Interest in International Law, broaches a topic that is underrepresented in the scientific discourse. As the world is getting smaller (more integrated), the number of issues that need to be resolved in the common interest of the international community continues to grow. The pursuance of common interests has serious consequences. Their realization will necessitate fundamental changes to the structure of international law and international relations. This book convincingly analyzes this evolution.’
em. Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Rüdiger Wolfrum, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg 

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