Globalization & Law Network seminar with Jan Klabbers

In 2018, President Trump threatened that the US was going to leave the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a crucial United Nations agency facilitating a uniform worldwide postal system. What does this mean from an international law perspective? On 30 November 2023, the Globalization and Law Network had the pleasure to host Jan Klabbers, Professor of International Law at the University of Helsinki, who delved into the dynamics of international institutional law. Prof. Klabbers presented his work on 'The Business of International Organizations' conducted in the context of the PRIVIGO project sponsored by the European Research Council. The project seeks to examine how international organizations are emerging as focal points for political and economic struggle.

To set the scene, Prof. Klabbers presented a few examples of how international organizations operate in today’s world. Even though they are widely believed to act in the public interest, they also increasingly engage with the private sector. In doing so, they no longer serve as vehicles for states but gain an autonomous role in international affairs. To account for these developments, Prof. Klabbers emphasized the importance of developing a political economy of international organizations law. He also explained how this new vision could be informed by his theory of supra-functionalism, which seeks to critically interrogate the functions performed by international organizations.

After his presentation, Prof. Klabbers engaged in a dialogue with Dr. Craig Eggett and Dr. Monica Garcia-Salmones Rovira, who presented some short comments.

If you are interested in joining the upcoming seminars organized by the Globalization & Law Network, you can view the program and register here.

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