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Title: International law and revolution
Author: Taylor, Owen
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 7202
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis aims to provide an investigation into how revolutionary transformation aimed to affect the international legal order itself, rather than what the international order might have to say about a revolution. This study also hopes to illuminate the potential limits that the legal form offers to revolutionary praxis. Revolutionary praxis is taken to constitute action taken in pursuit of the social aspirations first born in the modern era alongside the expansion of the capitalist mode of production that envisaged a world free of the exploitation of man by man and the relentless pursuit of profit. This thesis takes as a central concern the deep connection between the form of law and capitalism, which implies that law as it is currently recognised would not survive the demise of capitalism, and that therefore revolutionary legal praxis would have as its ultimate aim the overthrowing of the current system of international legal relations. Such practice would simultaneously aim to reveal the law as complicit in and constitutive of capitalist oppression, thereby disenchanting the liberal legalist aspirations of the progressively inclined members of the profession. In order to examine this basic thesis, Soviet and Third World relationships to international law are considered. The Soviet relationship was explicitly couched as revolutionary praxis, although it did not see law as the prime location of such activity. The Third World also aimed at radically overhauling international relations, but did so with a far greater investment in the form of law as a vehicle for this aim. The thesis concludes that although the prime reason for the failure of both Soviet and Third World's international legal engagement could be considered in some sense as 'force of arms', that this was entwined with and supported by the 'force of law'. The law's internal logic proved inimical to revolutionary praxis, which offers a substantial caution to any attempt to 'use' international law to pursue anti-capitalist activity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available