Conférence

Nina Keller-Kemmerer - The Mimicry of International Law: Andrés Bello’s “Principios de derecho internacional

Réalisation : 16 septembre 2021 Mise en ligne : 16 septembre 2021
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Descriptif

It was the creole intellectual Andrés Bello who firstpromoted the European doctrines of international law in Hispano-America. 1811he went together with Simón Bolívar on a diplomatic mission to London tosupport the Hispano-American independence. During this time, international lawbecame of great importance for his nation- and statebuilding-projects. When hereturned to the southamerican continent in 1829, his “Principios de derecho dejentes” was the first book the “liberator intellectual” published. While in theformer Spanish colonies Bello’s textbook was of great success Europeanintellectuals criticized it for being a mere copy of the European ideas. Andindeed, Bello’s textbook is, at first glance, an imitation and compilation ofthe main European principles of international law. Using postcolonial andpoststructuralist approaches, however, the study reveals that this imitation ofthe European discourse of international law was not a pure passive andsubmissive act but a deeply ambivalent behaviour which opens a space ofresistance, implies changes and is reminiscent of Homi K. Bhabha’s concept ofmimicry. Furthermore, postcolonial and poststructuralist concepts of identityand subjectivity expose that non-European worlds formed an intrinsic part ofEuropean international law. They served to construct European identity andtherefore became what Edward Sampson describes as the “serviceable other”.

 

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