1st Edition

International Law and the Reconceptualization of Territorial Boundaries In Pursuit of Perpetual Peace

By Joshua Castellino Copyright 2025
    234 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book critically analyzes the state-based regime of international law, eliciting its colonial and decolonial origins and proposing a new sub-regional basis for dealing with contemporary global challenges.

    Since 1648 public international law has taken many steps to maintain peace and establish a just order. The State is deemed central to each of these. Yet modern challenges, such as environmental mitigation, mass migration and need to stimulate economic growth, overwhelm the State. Could a regional approach to these questions, achieved in conjunction with strong sub-national local governance establish a more effective framework for systemic change? Drawing on a history of colonization and decolonization, while scrutinizing decisions made about the imposition of the State on the basis of colonial boundaries, this multidisciplinary work analyzes why current challenges are unlikely to be adequately addressed through existing governance structures. In response, it advocates a sub-regional, transnational approach, drawing on analyses of pre-colonial shared histories and contemporary population ethnographies unfettered by hegemonic boundary drawing. The book argues that collaboration across such frontiers in the face of climate and other challenges may offer more feasible approaches to the pursuit of peace than unquestioned maintenance of the state-based structures of inherited privilege.

    This book will appeal to scholars and others with interests in international law, international relations, and international politics, as well as in the history and politics of colonialism.

    Introduction, Chapter One Historical Treatment of Territory and Boundaries in International Law, Introduction, I Public International Law and the Acquisition of Territory, II The Value of Historical Title, III The Role of Culture & Attitude in Determining Boundary Issues, Conclusion, Chapter Two A Few European Men & Global Boundaries, Introduction, I Durand Line, II McMahon Line, III Russia, China and Lines on Maps, IV Sykes Picot Agreement, V Other Men, Other Places, More Lines on Maps, Conclusion, Chapter Three The Rules Governing Title to Territory & their Adjudication in International Law, Introduction, I The Blurring of Lines, II The Adjudication of Disputes: The Rules of the Game Thus Far, III Defeating Arguments of Force, Harnessing Force of Arguments: Forum Conveniens?, IV An Agenda for Change?, Conclusion, Chapter Four Decolonization: The Quest for Peace not Justice?, Introduction, I The Americas, II The Middle East & North Africa, III Africa, IV The Pacific & Island States, V Contested Boundary Lines in Asia, Conclusion: Boundaries and the Future, Chapter V State of the World’s Boundaries, Introduction, I The Importance of Maps, II Understanding Global Human Geography from Maps, Conclusion, Conclusion: The Quest for Order & Justice?



    Joshua Castellino is Co-Executive Director of Minority Rights Group International and Professor of International and Comparative Law at the University of Derby, UK.