This talk will propose and apply a new framework for examining the relations among international organisations. In most accounts of inter-organisational relations in international law, international relations, and transnational sociology, international organisations are taken to be unitary, ‘real’ and ‘solid’ actors. The talk will outline an alternative approach, which analyses international organisations as assemblages-in-action, or actor-networks, comprising heterogeneous elements which are cobbled together in an ongoing and improvisational way. In this view, international organisations – and even more so, the relations among them – are constituted via a vast series of associations through practices of strategic, physical, and linguistic translation. Drawing on original archival research, the talk will illustrate this mode of analysis through a case study of inter-organisational relations in the late 1960s, when anxieties about institutional fragmentation drove efforts to re-constitute the international ‘system’.
About the Speaker:
Guy Fiti Sinclair is an Associate Professor at Auckland Law School. He holds degrees in history and law from the University of Auckland, and a JSD from New York University School of Law. His principal area of research and teaching is public international law, with a focus on the history and theory of international law, international organisations, and international economic law. Dr. Sinclair is the author of To Reform the World: International Organizations and the Making of Modern States (Oxford University Press, 2017), which was awarded the European Society of International Law Book Prize in 2018. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Journal of International Law and a Senior Research Fellow of the New Zealand Centre for Public Law. He is currently working on a project about how the relations among international organisations shape international economic law and order, supported by a Marsden Fast Start Grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand.
The Hong Kong Law Society has awarded this seminar 1.5 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points.