Roundtable on Political Islam and International Law

Melbourne Law School, 28 July 2016

The Laureate Research Program in International Law hosted a roundtable on Political Islam and International Law at Melbourne Law School on 28 July 2016. The roundtable was convened by Professor Anne Orford to coincide with the visit to the Laureate Program of Professor Naz Modirzadeh (Director, Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict) and Professor Andrew March (Political Science, Yale).

The aim of the roundtable was to explore some of the challenges posed by the rise of militant forms of political Islam to existing international law governing the use of force, armed conflict, foreign fighters, and state responsibility. Questions discussed included whether and how a better understanding of the ideological and normative aspects of political Islam might inform international responses to the civil wars taking place throughout the Middle East and North Africa, what challenges are posed by political Islam to the dominant liberal conceptions of the state that inform many of the projects and principles of international law, which histories of international engagement with the region provide the appropriate context for making sense of foreign involvement in these civil wars, what forms of internationalism or international law are being developed within political Islam, and how international lawyers might better engage with those rival internationalisms.

The number of participants at the roundtable was limited to facilitate careful discussion of these issues in an informal setting.