The Indonesian Journal of International Law is opening submissions for their 2022 theme: Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL). Selected Papers will be published under volume 19.2 (January 2022) and 19.3 (April 2022)
TWAIL is an intellectual movement that seeks to identify, locate, and entrench peripheral voices in legal knowledge production. International law has been a product of colonialism (Anghie: 1999). In the 21st century, “the threat of recolonisation is haunting the third world” in which international law helps to “legitimize and sustain the unequal structures and processes” the world over (Chimni, 2006: 3).
The geographical South, housing the world’s 90% population, has been a particular victim of international law’s rent-seeking is exposed in the unequal access to COVID-19 vaccine. The definition of colonisation in international law perhaps needs a re-thinking and updating as does the category of Global South. Besides, in history and in present, the West relied heavily on the knowledge and collaboration of natives who are often unacknowledged within the trope of the “native informants”.
Many western ideas achieved refinement in the colony. Unfortunately, international legal scholarship continues to wantonly ignore these dialectics. It bears reminding today that Indonesian scholars have been at the forefront of the TWAIL movement. For example, it was the Indonesian JJG Syatauw who argued that calling decolonised Asian states “newly established Asian states” is an epistemological category fraught with inaccuracies and colonial baggage (1961: p. 3). By so calling them, for Syatauw, we exclude such new states from the history of international law as well as from contributing to diluting international law’s Eurocentricity.
Kusuma-Atmadja as one of its leading scholars enunciated from Bandung, Indonesia – with brevity and firmness – what we call an “archipelagic consciousness” in the post-war international law. In 2002, when Thomas Franck ad hoc penned at the ICJ for two islands belonging to Indonesia, he first consigned the uninhabited islands to “the fate of history in obscure places” as these “were not the stuff of which history is made” (Indonesia/Malaysia case: 2002; p. 692). Today, state sovereignty, uninhabited islands, and the UN Law of the Sea are Asia’s – and indeed the developing world’s – biggest subject feeding papers and heating oceans (South China Sea Arbitration: 2016). Indonesia has led the TWAIL movement by contributing in theory and in action.
The Indonesian Journal of International Law is therefore inviting papers for our TWAIL issue to recall and celebrate this archipelagic Asian spirit. The abstract-proposition can be on any and all aspects of the TWAIL: history, theory, practice. Selected abstracts will be invited for the submission of full-length papers. We plan to organise a two-day online conference to workshop selected papers to ensure quality and rigour while supporting the writing process.
- Abstract submission – 15th October 2021
- Selected abstract announcement – 31st October 2021
- Final paper submission – 30th November 2021
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