A transcivilizational perspective on international law questioning prevalent cognitive frameworks in the emerging multi-polar and multi-civilizational world of the twenty-first century

Ōnuma, Yasuaki, 1946-

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  • The twenty-first century will witness conflicts which may destabilize the international order. These conflicts are likely to arise between emerging Asian States such as China and India whose material power is growing, and the Western nations who wield significant ideational power. A West-centric international society will change to a multi-polar and multi-civilizational global society. This structural change includes, and further needs, changes of understandings and perceptions of the world, including of international law. The perspectives from which we see, understand, appreciate and assess


  • "Full text of the lecture published in June 2010 in the Recueil des cours, Vol. 342 (2009)"--P. [2].
  • Includes bibliographical references (p. 463-475, 477-480).
  • English


  • COPY RIGHT; HAGUE ACADEMY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW; FOREWORD; A Transcivilizational Perspective on International Law; CONTENTS; PREFACE; INTRODUCTION; CHAPTER I A TRANSCIVILIZATIONAL PERSPECTIVE : A COGNITIVE FRAMEWORK TO UNDERSTAND THE TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY WORLD; Introduction; I. From a State-centric and West-centric International Society to a Multi-polar and Multi-civilizational Global Society; 1. International law in a State-centric and West-centric international society of the twentieth century; (1) International law and international society
  • (2) Characteristic features of the twentieth-century international society2. Conflicts destabilizing the international order; (1) The conflict between the transnationalization of economics and information, and the sovereign States system; (2) The conflict between the global quest for human dignity and the sense of victimization shared by non-Western and/or developing nations; (3) Emerging discrepancies between the economic power and the intellectual/ informational hegemony in global society; II. Prevalent Perspectives to Understand International Law in the Twentieth Century
  • 1. The international perspective(1) The predominance of the international perspective; (2) The persistence of State-centrism; 2. The transnational perspective; (1) The emergence of the transnational perspective; (2) The significance of the transnational perspective; (3) Problems of international and transnational perspectives; (4) Participants of international law : various actors with diverse perspectives involved in the international legal process; III. The Transcivilizational Perspective : A Way to See International Law in a More Nuanced and Comprehensive Manner
  • 1. The significance of civilizational factors and perspectives in the sovereign States system(1) What is the transcivilizational perspective ?; (2) Civilizational factors and perspectives as preserved and utilized within the sovereign States system; (3) Tacit recognition of the significance of civilizational factors and perspectives; 2. Realities requiring the adoption of the transcivilizational perspective in the twenty-first century; (1) Significance and decline of the non-intervention principle; (2) A clash of civilizations ?
  • (3) The need to minimize conflicts between egocentric, unilateral universalisms(4) The functional notion of the transcivilizational perspective; (5) Changing the perspective : a crucial task for international lawyers; CHAPTER II POWER AND LEGITIMACY IN INTERNATIONAL LAW; Introduction; I. Law and Power in Global Society; 1. International law versus the power of States - aprevalent image on law and power in international society; (1) Complex and multidimensional relations between law, legitimacy and power; (2) Cases in which international law is actually discoursed and used in a visible manner
  • (3) The most frequently asked question : "Can international law control the power of States ?"
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