Nordic Summer University
Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS)
9-11 March 2007
Nordic network for academics / Nordic Summer University organizes a symposium on current developments in the relationship between power, law and order in international and global politics.
Location and date: The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Copenhagen, Denmark, March 9-11 2007
On September 11, 1990 George H. W. Bush introduced the term of phrase "the New World Order" in a speech to Congress. Since then an overwhelming number of books and articles discussing this new Order within all kinds of contexts have been produced. However, very few systematic studies of the actual meaning of the concept of Order within societal and global contexts, and the varying historical interpretations of the concept, have been presented. Typically, the more genuinely systematic studies have been published before the notion of the New World Order was introduced as a paradigm after the Cold War.
The best known and most influential studies are Eric Voegelin's five-volume work "Order and History" (1956-1987), Carl Schmitt's "Der Nomos der Erde im Völkerrecht des Jus Publicum Europaeum," 1950 (The Nomos of the Earth, 2003) and Hedley Bull's "The Anarchical Society." A Study of Order in World Politics, 1977. Following these and other theories, the symposium will focus on the concept of Order in the study of international relations, with sustained reference to U.S. Middle Eastern policy. We suggest an approach which sees the concept of World Order as reflecting an interpretation which transcends an understanding of international relations as relations between states or as a representation of international law.
In our insistence on the concept of World Order we do not view international relations solely as the struggle for power between competing states or the consequences for the international system of the distribution of power between states; but rather, as suggested by Bull and, to some extent, by Schmitt, as a relationship between Order and anarchy in a more fundamental sense. This means that international relations must be viewed from a perspective of values, which considers interpretations of morality, freedom, justice, civilization and individuality in an understanding of the relationship between law and power on the national as well as the international level.
It follows that World Order is not understood as a social contract or an international legal agreement, but as a set of underlying values in the order of a political and cultural community which constitutes the necessary precondition for the establishment of social contracts and international law. This means that any Order is determined by delimitation, which may be territorial or conceptual, and which constitutes the deciding factor in terms of how threats are interpreted and dealt with within a given Order: What and who belongs to the given Order; what threatens it; who and what is outside it, and how is that which is outside it dealt with? By placing emphasis on Order, the intention is to focus on levels below (transnational figures of identification) as well as beyond state level (the regional level, but also for instance conceptions of the Western, the Islamic and the Arab world), and to examine their significance in terms of the potential for political action of the state as well as in terms of regional relations, and, finally, the interaction between regional circumstances and non-governmental actors (al-Qaida, Hizbollah, The Muslim Brotherhood etc.).
It is proposed that political Order may be studied at three levels: The level of life as it is actually conducted, meaning historical, sociological and cultural circumstances which constitute the horizon for the organization of society; the written Order, meaning the formalization of political Order in the form of law and justice; and the vision of the ideal Order, meaning ideology and constitutive narratives. Furthermore, the symposium proposes that the ongoing 'war on terror' can be understood as part of a struggle over the interpretation of Order, including World Order. The symposium thus aims to introduce and discuss theories concerning the relationship between Power, Law and Order, as well as theories concerning the relationship between World Order, state and nation as an introduction to an examination of the current terrorism conflict.
Based on the outlined theory, we invite papers which examines in a historical and sociological perspective the establishment of different Orders, for instance the American Order from the Revolution and the Independence up to the establishment of the United States of America as a superpower, or the Middle Eastern Order which resulted from the peace treaties after the First World War. Finally, we invite papers which focus on the Islamic revolt against the American Order and the notion of a World Order based on liberal principles. The Islamic vision of Order, World Order, and the militant efforts of the rebellious organizations at fighting the American Order is considered in contrast with the war on terror, with a particular focus on U.S. legal practice in the treatment of terrorists (Guantanamo, the Patriot Act, renditions etc.).
Nordic Summer University is a forum for intellectual thought where narrow academic disciplines are replaced by thematic topics, creating an interdisciplinary space where academics and intellectuals with various backgrounds can interact. NSU has in previous years had the honour of hosting such distinguished guest speakers as Martha Nussbaum, Slavoj Zizek, Paul Gilroy, Renata Salecl, Klaus Theweleit, Katherine Hayles and Juliette Flower MacCannel.
NSU is financially supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers: www.nsuweb.net
Abstracts by January, 2006. Preliminary program will be presented February, 2007. For information / registration, please contact the coordinators of NSU Study group 6: Global Security and Legal Order.
Gry Ardal Christensen
Phone: +45 22 63 35 92
Phone: +45 32 69 86 18