The project explores the overlooked role of state socialist countries of Central Eastern Europe and beyond in the making of international law after 1945. It analyses how state socialist experts and governments proposed, negotiated, or opposed various international conventions, and how they interacted with Western and Global South counterparts in the construction and struggle over the global international law order. The project also sheds light on the scholarship and biographies of different socialist experts and scholars who have engaged with international law at home and within the UN-system. We seek to evaluate the impact of state socialist regimes in crafting international law, without neglecting how these regimes have violated international rules, through political repression at home and illegal intervention abroad.
We particularly focus on Central Eastern Europe and five topics (the criminalization of Apartheid; health as a human right; prohibition of slavery and child labor; protection of cultural heritage during armed conflicts; and humanitarian law and guerilla movements), but we seek to expand the research through collaboration with scholars working on other fields of international law and on other geographical areas, particularly the Global South (Africa, Asia, and Latin America).
The project moves beyond the Western-centric outlook of the field and highlights the overlooked role of Central Eastern European and Global South state socialisms as well as their impact during and after the Cold War. The project expands current Cold War studies by highlighting the formative impact of Central Eastern Europe on the evolution of the UN-system.
This research is funded by the Romanian Research Council (UEFISCDI) through the Exploratory Grant PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2020-1337: The Contribution of State Socialist Countries of Eastern Europe to the Development of International Criminal and Humanitarian Law after 1945” & implemented by the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest.