UCL Urban Laboratory


Session 2 - Sovereign Circuits

International law and the structure of the new urban racial capitalism

By Professor Balakrishnan Rajagopal

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Related Abstract
The very meaning of the term "Third World" has become disarticulated, with corresponding changes to the politics and structure of international law. At stake is the question: is international law of any use to the Third World, and if it could be so, how must one rethink it? This article argues that there is now a distinction between hegemonic and counter-hegemonic international law, and that the future of international law and the Third World are intricately intertwined in contributing to a counter-hegemonic international law. But, in order to achieve this goal, the past strategies of Third World engagement through international law, for example through the discourses of human rights and development, need to be seriously rethought. The article offers a critical analysis of the hegemonic nature of human rights and development discourses in contemporary international law.