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Title: Criminalization in world politics : uncovering the historical construction of international crimes
Author: Randhawa, Suwita Hani
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 816X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis examines the phenomenon of international criminalization. Specifically, it explores the process by which particular acts came to be established as international crimes in international society. Drawing upon constructivist International Relations scholarship on international norms and the socially constructed nature of international relations, it argues the process of international criminalization does not simply amount to a legal process, as existing accounts from the discipline of International Law suggest. Rather, it also embraces a social process that centres on international diplomatic negotiations amongst international diplomats and legal experts within multilateral organizations. The thesis also argues the process of international criminalization consists of two stages: firstly, the emergence of an international criminal norm; and secondly, the translation of that international criminal norm into an international legal proscription. In the first stage, an international criminal norm develops once an international social consensus is obtained amongst diplomats and legal experts on the following: firstly, that an act deserves to be recognized as having the status of an international crime; and secondly, that an act ought to assume a specific form as an international crime. In the second stage, the international criminal norm is given legal expression by being made into a formal legal proscription under international law. This two-stage process of international criminalization is then employed to analyze the historical emergence of two international crimes, namely, genocide and aggression. Through a historically-informed constructivist approach centring on archival research and a close reading of historical documents, the thesis demonstrates the establishment of these international crimes were preceded by the development of an international criminal norm. This, in turn, offers an alternative account of the criminalization of genocide and aggression, which emphasizes what existing accounts currently neglect, namely, the social dimensions of the process of international criminalization. The thesis also examines a negative instance of international criminalization. Through a focus on piracy, it shows how piracy, contrary to some views, cannot be regarded as an international crime because it did not undergo the process of international criminalization throughout its historical development.
Supervisor: Welsh, Jennifer Sponsor: Khazanah-Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Merdeka Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: International relations ; International criminal law