1st Edition

International Law and Posthuman Theory

Edited By Matilda Arvidsson, Emily Jones Copyright 2024
    334 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    334 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Assembling a series of voices from across the field, this book demonstrates how posthuman theory can be employed to better understand and tackle some of the challenges faced by contemporary international law.

    With the vast environmental devastation being caused by climate change, the increasing use of artificial intelligence by international legal actors and the need for international law to face up to its colonial past, international law needs to change. But in regulating and preserving a stable global order in which states act as its main subjects, the traditional sources of international law – international legal statutes, customary international law, historical precedents and general principles of law – create a framework that slows down its capacity to act on contemporary challenges, and to imagine futures yet to come. In response, this collection maintains that posthuman theory can be used to better address the challenges faced by contemporary international law. Covering a wide array of contemporary topics – including environmental law, the law of the sea, colonialism, human rights, conflict and the impact of science and technology – it is the first book to bring new and emerging research on posthuman theory and international law together into one volume.

    This book’s posthuman engagement with central international legal debates, prefaced by the leading scholar in the field of posthuman theory, provides a perfect resource for students and scholars in international law, as well as critical and socio-legal theorists and others with interests in posthuman thought, technology, colonialism and ecology.

    Chapters 1, 9 and 11 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at http://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license.

    List of Contributors ix

    Preface by Rosi Braidotti xii

    Introduction to International Law and Posthuman

    Theory 1

    Emily Jones and Matilda Arvidsson

    PART 1

    Methodological and Theoretical Frontiers 29

    1 Posthuman Feminism as a Theoretical and Methodological Approach to International Law 31

    Matilda Arvidsson

    2 Flat Ontology and Differentiation: In Defense of Bennett’s Vital Materialism, and Some Thoughts Toward Decolonial New Materialisms for International Law 60

    Anna Grear

    3 Aesthetics, New Materialism and Legal Matter: The ‘Art’ of Anglo-American Colonialism 83

    Delaney Mitchell

    4 The Common Heritage of Kin-Kind 105

    Emily Jones, Cristian van Eijk and Gina Heathcote

    PART 2

    Political Economy, History and Colonialism 137

    5 A Monument to E.G. Wakefield: New and Historical Materialist Dialogues for a Posthuman International Law 139

    Jessie Hohmann and Christine Schwobel-Patel

    6 Neither National nor International: A Posthumanist Retelling of Tax Sovereignty 161

    Hedvig Larka

    7 After Homo Narrans: Botany, International Law and Senegambia in Early Racial Capitalist Worldmaking 180

    Vanja Hamzić

    PART 3

    The Environment and the Nonhuman 201

    8 Terraqueous Feminisms and the International Law of the Sea 203

    Gina Heathcote

    9 Becoming Common – Ecological Resistance, Refusal, Reparation 222

    Marie Petersmann

    10 The War on Drugs as the War on the Nonhuman 244

    Kojo Koram and Oscar Guardiola-Rivera

    11 Supplanting Anthropocentric Legalities: Can the Rule of Law Tolerate Intensive Animal Agriculture? 258

    Maneesha Deckha

    12 Will Human Rights Save the Anthropos from the Anthropocene? Rights-Based Environmental Protection Strategies and Posthuman Theory 279

    Jasmijn Leeuwenkamp

    Index 305


    Matilda Arvidsson is Associate Professor in International Law and Assistant Senior Lecturer in Jurisprudence at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

    Emily Jones is an NUAcT Fellow based at Newcastle Law School, Newcastle University, UK.

    “How do ‘we’ move beyond the Eurocentric, hetrosexist and humanistic binds of international law? As much critical scholarship has demonstrated, it is not through more law. This wide-ranging collection, written by some of the most exciting thinkers of international law and posthumanism, provides readers with ways of thinking otherwise – ways out of the binds. This is critique as hope.” Maria Elander, La Trobe University, Australia

    "The chapters of this book offer, each in their specific manner and through different angles, multi-directional answers, provide examples and illustrations of what is at stake. They share one, empowering belief, which I take as axiomatic, namely that posthuman legal thought aims to critique the humanistic, Eurocentric, normative and heterosexist core of legal theory and practice, in order to make it more inclusive and less discriminatory. In so doing, they make room for the non-human, more-than-human entities, agents and subjects of our posthuman times. The intertwined critiques of humanism and anthropocentrism serve to illuminate contemporary patterns of power, subjugation, injustice and exploitation. And to offer ways out." Rosi Braidotti, Utrecht University, the Netherlands.