International Self Determination

Words: 1323
Pages: 6

2. Introduction
My proposed PhD project aims to research women and self-determination within the field of international feminist legal studies. It seeks to examine the multiple narratives provided by women and the international legal system on women’s rights and political agency as citizens to promote individual and collective self-determination. It argues that the study of international law does not usually consider its colonial origins, or the resistance movements which colonialism provokes, ignoring also any sense of female activism or a female space of agency. Linked to this proposition there is a second one, according to which legal international acts, texts and their interpretations are often detached from a consideration of the people
…show more content…
The right to self-determination has been largely interpreted in the international legal scholarship as the internal freedom of people to determine the way the government is organised and the external right of a group to reject claims of jurisdictions by another state. This main account of self-determination has generated a large set of critiques from feminist and critical legal theories. A feminist set of analyses concerns a critique of the western liberal accounts of legal personhood within a national legal structure that goes beyond a version of sovereign international self-determination which does not take into account the individual self-determination of its citizens. (H. Charlesworth and C.M. Chinkin, 2000; G. Heathcote, 2011) A second set of analyses stress the colonial roots of international law, affirming how it was created as a tool of colonisation and how it developed afterwards as a tool of legitimising colonial projects including those which extend into the League and the UN via the Mandate and Trusteeship system. (A. Anghie, …show more content…
It was created precisely with the purpose of promoting self-determination in the colonial territories and to include them in the larger ‘Family of Nations’ once they had fulfilled certain conditions-namely, progress and civilisation. (A. Anghie, 2005) In fact, they were considered .(Covenant ofthe League of Nation, 1920, Art.22) Nowadays, ICJ and UN seem currently to interpret the international legal rules on self-determination not as an immediate effective substantive right – as required by several treaties and previous ICJ judgements- but as a process, whose steps have to be assessed and recognised by international institutions. (D.Z. Dass, 1992; C. Drew, 2001; M. Craven, 2010) This above-mentioned analysis focuseson looking at the right to self-determination as grounded in the functioning of international legal institutions and remains largely silent on the role of women’s status and gender issues as a yardstick to assess people’s right to