Project

International Law and the Cold War is a ground-breaking international research project that seeks to reframe the way we think about the relationship between international law and the complex historical phenomenon known as the Cold War. Against the common narrative of the Cold War as a long aberration or interruption in the development of international law, the project rethinks international law and the Cold War as mutually constitutive accounts of the ‘international’. This opens space for thinking about contemporary international law as a product of the Cold War, and about the Cold War as a juridical category. The project seeks to contribute to wider debates about the future of the international legal and diplomatic order, as global divisions emerge that echo the ideological enmity and paranoia that pervaded the Cold War period.

From this shared departure point, project scholars are producing innovative research that traces the connections between the ‘Cold War’ and contemporary legal constructions of the nation-state, the environment, the third world, and the refugee; and between law, technology, science, history, literature, art, and politics. Led by Professors Sundhya Pahuja (Melbourne Law School), Gerry Simpson (London School of Economics) and Matthew Craven (School of Oriental and African Studies), the project curates a vibrant international research network of over thirty established and emerging scholars drawn from the disciplines of law, history and international relations.

Project outputs include:
• the first history and theory of the relationship between international law and the Cold War;
• an edited collection of new research from an international network of established and emerging scholars working across the disciplines of law, history and international relations;
• a new comprehensive bibliography of relevant works; and
• a public film and seminar series.

International Law and the Cold War is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, with additional support from a Research Networking Grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the UK.