Swiss Review of International and European Law Logo Schulthess juristische Medien AG
Logo SZIER Zeitschrift

Du droit de civilisation européen au droit international des civilisations : instituer un monde des régions (Samantha Besson)

The key to the tension between the universal and the particular in international law arguably lies in the relationship between law and civilization characteristic of the Western legal tradition. That relationship explains both the historical strengths of European public law, which became a « civilizing law » in the 19th Century, and the weaknesses of what became an international « civilization-law », once universalized in the 20th Century. In turn, it sheds light on the resources available within contemporary international law in order to reform and, in particular, re-universalize that law and thereby confront new fundamentalisms and imperialisms (its own and those of others). With this aim in mind, the article proposes that one should reinvest regional international institutions : those institutions are not only more inclusive of the various civilizations than States and universal organizations, but are also capable of ensuring the equal representation of individuals and peoples in the processes of adopting a true « international law of civilizations ».