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Bowring, Bill (2011)
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: law
This response to Robert Knox’s very kind and constructive review1 of my 2008 book The\ud Degradation of the International Legal Order?: The Rehabilitation of Law and the Possibility of\ud Politics gives me the opportunity not only to answer some of his criticisms, but also, on the basis\ud of my own reflections since 2008, to fill in some gaps. Indeed, to revise a number of my\ud arguments. First, I restate my attempt at a materialist account of human rights. Next I explain\ud why, for me, the right of peoples to self-determination is absolutely central to a materialist\ud understanding of human rights; and also fill a serious gap in my own account in the book. This\ud leads me not only to a reply to Robert Knox on the question of ‘indeterminacy’ in international\ud law, but also to a disagreement with him on the use or misuse of the language of self-determination.\ud My fourth section returns to our very different evaluations of the significance and meaning of\ud the work of Yevgeny Pashukanis, and what, for me, is Pashukanis’s misunderstanding, for\ud reasons consistent with his general theoretical trajectory, of Marx and Lenin on the Irish\ud question. Finally, I present an outline of a re-evaluation of Marx’s principled position on\ud self-determination.
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