Whose International Law? Sovereignty and Non-State Groups

Benedict Kingsbury
1994 Proceedings of the ASIL Annual Meeting  
Juridical conceptions of sovereignty are embedded in theories of international relations and of politics. These theoretical frameworks are significant in informing the practice of international law and practical understandings of sovereignty. They may thus be of considerable consequence to non-state groups, who face the dilemmas of accepting or contesting both particular rules and understandings and theoretical frameworks themselves. I will comment on the implications for strategies pursued by
more » ... ategies pursued by non-state groups, particularly indigenous peoples, of two current, competing visions of international relations-namely, international society and liberal transnational civil society-and their accompanying approaches to sovereignty. The contemporary enterprise of better connecting international law as a practice to the theories in which it is embedded has faced major impediments, not least the lack of work (until perhaps the past two decades) tying modern international relations theory to political theory, 1 and the paucity of developed theoretical ac-
doi:10.1017/s0272503700081192 fatcat:kkhxhth2cndghohosf4mh2aowu