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International Law Scholarship in Post-colonial India: Coping with Dualism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 February 2010


This essay seeks to sketch and evaluate international law scholarship in post-colonial India in the period 1947–2007. The exercise is undertaken to assess how Indian scholarship has coped with the dual life of international law: the fact that it is both an instrument of domination and possible emancipation. It is contended that while the dominant approach of formalist dualism, which critiques colonial international law but embraces the narrative of progress in the present, has made a seminal contribution to the world of international law, in particular the first articulation of Third World approaches to international law (TWAIL), it has not adequately addressed deep systemic structures that underlie contemporary international law. It is argued that this task is performed more effectively by a critical dualist approach that problematizes the structure, ideology, and practices of global capitalism. The essay concludes by reflecting on the future tasks of Indian scholarship.

Copyright © Foundation of the Leiden Journal of International Law 2010

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1 On dualism in the context of post-colonial international law scholarship in Africa, see J. T. Gathii, ‘A Critical Appraisal of the International Legal Tradition of Taslim Olawale Elias’, (2008) 21 LJIL 317. See more generally A. Anghie, Sovereignty, Imperialism and International Law (2005), 318.

2 For a critique of the McDougal–Laswell approach to international law see B. S. Chimni, International Law and World Order: A Critique of Contemporary Approaches (1993), ch. 3.

3 In the latter context see B. S. Murty, Propaganda and World Public Order: The Legal Regulation of the Ideological Instrument of Coercion (1968); B. S. Murty, The International Law of Diplomacy: The Diplomatic Instrument and World Public Order (1989); P. S. Rao, The Public Order of Ocean Resources: A Critique of Contemporary Law of the Sea (1975).

4 For an excellent account see V. Prashad, The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World (2007).

5 ‘Nehru understood independence as an opportunity to establish India as a presence on the world stage.’ S. Khilnani, The Idea of India (1998), 178.

6 Indian foreign policy was shaped by Nehru and, according to Khilnani, ‘the one insight from Nehru's intellectual engagements of the 1930s that he never abandoned was the Marxist analysis of imperialism’. Ibid., at 76.

7 The Preamble to the Constitution of India talks of ‘JUSTICE, social, economic and political’. Article 51 of the Constitution, contained in Part IV devoted to ‘Directive Principles of State Policy’, is entitled ‘Promotion of international peace and security’ and reads as follows:

The State shall endeavour to—

  1. (a)

    (a) promote international peace and security;

  2. (b)

    (b) maintain just and honourable relations between nations;

  3. (c)

    (c) foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings of organised peoples with one another; and

  4. (d)

    (d) encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration.

See generally P. C. Rao, The Indian Constitution and International Law (1993).

8 Several of them have delivered the prestigious Hague lectures. For example see C. J. Chacko, ‘India's Contribution to the field of International Law Concepts’, (1958/I) 93 RCADI 121; K. R. R Sastri, ‘Hinduism and International Law’, (1966/I) 117 RCADI 503. I thus owe an apology to generations of Indian scholars for not being able adequately to record, address, or reference their contributions. Just to illustrate the point, mention may be made of Indian scholarship on air and space law that does not find mention in the paper. See Bhatt, S., ‘Some Perspectives on Space Law’, (1966) 6 Indian Journal of International Law (hereafter IJIL) 395Google Scholar; S. Bhatt, ‘Legal Controls of the Exploration and Use of the Moon and Celestial Bodies’, (1968) 8 IJIL 33; M. Chandrasekhran, ‘The Space Treaty’, (1967) 7 IJIL 61; P. K. Kartha, ‘Some Legal Problems Concerning Outer Space’, (1963) 3 IJIL 1; S. Malik, ‘Liability for Damage Caused by Space Activities’, (1966) 6 IJIL 335; S. Malik, ‘Registration of Space Objects’, (1969) 9 IJIL 412; V. S. Mani et al. (eds.), Air Law and Policy in India (1994); V. S. Mani et al. (eds.), Recent Trends in Space Law and Policy (1996); S. N. Sinha, ‘The Seventh Session of the Legal Sub-committee of the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space’, (1968) 18 IJIL 399; D. Wadegaonkar, ‘Legal Problems of Outer Space’, (1969) 9 IJIL 47.

9 For those interested in six decades of Indian scholarship in international law, the writings may be found in the IJIL, India Quarterly, Indian Yearbook of International Affairs (hereafter IYIA), Journal of Indian Law Institute, and International Studies.

10 On the differences between the first and second generation of Third World scholarship see Chimni, B. S., ‘Towards a Radical Third World Approach to Contemporary International Law’, (2002) 5 (2) ICCLP Review 16Google Scholar.

11 While Alexandrowicz published a number of articles in this period in the IYIA (which he launched and edited) and the British Yearbook of International Law, Nagendra Singh did so in the early 1960s in the IJIL. In the case of C. H Alexandrowicz see ‘Grotius and India’, (1954) 4 IYIA 357; ‘Mogul Sovereignty and the Law of Nations’, (1955) IYIA 316; ‘The Discriminatory Clause in South Asian Treaties in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’, (1957) 6 IYIA 126; ‘The Theory of Recognition in Fieri’, (1958) 7 British Yearbook of International Law 176; ‘Freitas versus Grotius’, (1959) British Yearbook of International Law 162. This work was consolidated in his Hague Lectures in 1960. He later published his well-known work An Introduction to the History of the Law of Nations in the East Indies (16th, 17th and 18th Centuries) (1967).

12 ‘What made possible the self-invention of a national community was the fact of alien conquest and colonial subjection.’ Khilnani, supra note 5, 155.

note 5

13 J. Nehru, The Unity of India: Collected Writings 1937–1940 (1941), 14–15.

14 J. Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru's Speeches, Volume 1: September 1946–May 1949 (1949), 234 and 236.

15 V. Lal, The History of History: Politics and Scholarship in Modern India (2003), 16.

16 K. A. N. Sastri, ‘International Law and Relations in Ancient India’, (1952) IYIA 97, at 103.

17 The meaning of ‘Dharma itself is relative and depends on the times and the conditions prevailing’. J. Nehru, The Discovery of India (1961).

18 ‘The word defies translation into English.’ R. Thapar, A History of India (1966) I, 46; A. Nandy, Time Warps: Silent and Evasive Pasts in Indian Politics and Religion (2002), 27, n. 19. For a good discussion Nandy refers us to P. V. Kane, History of the Dharmashastra (1946), III, 825–9.

19 N. Singh, Juristic Concepts of Ancient Indian Polity (1980), 105.

20 Ibid., at 104. See generally P. Olivelle, Manu's Code of Law (2006).


21 K. A. N. Sastri, ‘Inter-state Relations in Asia’, (1953) IYIA 133, at 140.

22 Singh, supra note 19, at 16.

note 19

23 N. Singh, ‘India and International Law’, in R. P. Anand (ed.), Asian States and the Development of International Law (1972), 25, at 19. It would be interesting to compare the basis of the doctrine of sovereignty in India with that in Europe. See in the latter context Ernst H. Kantorowicz, The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (1997).

24 Singh, supra note 23, at 34.

note 23

26 H. Chatterjee, International Law and Inter-state Relations in Ancient India (1958), 6.

27 P. Bandyopadhyay, International Law and Custom in Ancient India (1920); S. V. Vishwanatha, International Law in Ancient India (1925).

28 Armour, W. S., ‘Customs of Warfare in Ancient India’, (1923) 8 Transactions of the Grotius Society 71, at 83Google Scholar.

29 N. Singh, India and International Law: Ancient and Medieval, Vol. 1 (1973), 24 and 12. Likewise, Sastri has written, ‘International Law as we understand it in the modern world cannot, in the strict sense, be said to have prevailed in ancient India.’ Foreword to Chatterjee, supra note 26.

note 26

30 Singh, supra note 29, at 24.

note 29

31 M. K. Nawaz, ‘The Law of Nations in Ancient India’, (1957) 6 IYIA 172, at 176. Mehta has recently described the teachings of Kautilya, the putative author of Arthashastra, thus:

While his teaching came to signify ruthlessness in a political cause, the opposite cautionary message could also be drawn. If politics requires you to be ruthless you better be sure that it is for the welfare of the subjects . . . Its Machiavellianism is directed more against holders of power. It gives an unnerving sense of what it is like to snatch snippets of order from a deeply chaotic world always threatening to go out of kilter; the legitimacy and possibility of dharma, paradoxically, rests on a contingent foundation of power. (P. B. Mehta, ‘Century of Forgetting’, Indian Express, 16 June 2009)

32 Sastri, supra note 16, at 104.

note 16

33 The imagined world of ancient India in which dharma always prevailed restored the self-confidence of a colonized nation. But this feature also lends itself to the claim of political Hinduism and its communal politics. P. Chatterjee, ‘History and the Nationalization of Hinduism’, in V. Dalmia and H. Stietencron (eds.), Representing Hinduism (1995), 103, at 103–4.

34 For example, on the rare occasion when Singh talks of political practice, he writes that ‘it is difficult to talk of political practice which may quite often have deviated from theory but that does not cast any reflection on the theory as such’. Singh, supra note 29, at 20.

note 29

35 B. Parekh, ‘Some Reflections on the Hindu Tradition of Political Thought’, in T. Pantham and K. L. Deutsch (eds.), Political Thought in Modern India (1986), 17, at 27–30.

36 C. Prasad, Dalit Diary: 1999–2003: Reflections on Apartheid in India (2004); K. Ilaiah, Why I Am Not a Hindu (1996); S. Rege, Writing Caste/Writing Gender: Narrating Dalit Women's Testimonies (2006); U. Chakravarty, ‘Whatever Happened to the Vedic Dasi? Orientalism, Nationalism and Script for the Past’, in K. Sangari and S. Vaid (eds.), Recasting Women (1990).

37 R. Guha, ‘Dominance without Hegemony and its Historiography’, in R. Guha (ed.), Subaltern Studies VI: Writings on South Asian History and Society (1992), 210, at 249.


39 Ibid., at 246. It is, however, of note that ‘it was not until 1996, when Volume IX of Subaltern Studies was published, that the politics of the Dalits, historically the most disempowered segment of India's population . . . received its first explicit articulation’. Lal, supra note 15, at 189.

note 15

40 Guha, supra note 37, at 246.

note 37

41 M. K. Gandhi, Essential Writings (1970), 380.

42 R. Guha, ‘Discipline and Mobilize’, in P. Chatterjee and G. Pandey (eds.), Subaltern Studies VII: Writings on South Asian History and Society (1993), 69, at 98.

43 Gandhiji's desire for village republics rather than a state and his advice to avoid the Western development path was quietly given up as unrealistic. P. Chatterjee, The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories (1994), 201–2.

44 K. M. Pannikar, The State and the Citizen (1956), 2, 3. On the thinking that informed the understanding see generally Chakrabarty, D., ‘In the Name of Politics: Democracy and the Power of Multitude in India’, 19 (1) Public Culture 35CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

45 Guha, supra note 37, at 238.

note 37

46 ‘All the semi-feudal practices and theories of power which had come down intact from the pre-colonial era or were remolded, without being radically altered, under the impact of colonialism, fed in varying degrees on this idiom [danda]. The private feudal armies and levies, caste and territorial panchayats governed by local elite authority, caste sanctions imposed by the elite and religious sanctions by the priesthood, bonded labour and beggar, the partial entitlement of landlords to civilian and criminal jurisdiction over the tenantry, punitive measures taken against women for disobeying patriarchal moral codes, elite violence organised on sectarian, ethnic and caste lines, etc., are all instances of [coercion] framed in the idiom of Danda. They represent only a small sample taken from a large area of indigenous politics where almost any superordinate authority that sought support from an Indian tradition of coercion, tended inevitably to fall back on the concept of Danda.’ Ibid.

47 Chatterjee, supra note 43, at 204.

note 43

48 Khilnani, supra note 5, at 41. The centrality of the state has only become more acute. In the words of Nandy, ‘the demands of the state are no longer conditional in India; they have become absolute’. Nandy, supra note 18, at 47.

note 5
note 18

49 B. Santos, ‘Human Rights as an Emancipatory Script? Cultural and Political Conditions’, in B. Santos (ed.), Another Knowledge Is Possible: Beyond Northern Epistemologies (2007) 3, at 17.

50 B. Chandra, Ideology and Politics in Modern India (1994), 132.

51 Singh, supra note 29, at 94.

note 29

52 Ibid., at 112.


53 Ibid., at ix.


54 By ‘composite culture’ is meant ‘a subtle synthesis of the world-views and living habits of both Muslims and Hindus’. It has variously been described as ‘co-mingling’, a ‘sense of larger allegiance’, a ‘fusion of mentalities’. J. Alam, ‘Composite Culture and Communal Consciousness: The Ittehadul Muslimeen in Hyderabad’, in Dalmia and Stietencron (eds.), supra note 33, 338 at 339–40.

note 33

55 The existence of the law of nations in all cultures, and their ability to co-exist and even coalesce, underlined the essential unity of the human species. Chatterjee, supra note 26, preface.

note 26

56 Alexandrowicz, supra note 11, at 224.

note 11

58 K. J. Keith, ‘Asian Attitudes to International Law’, (1967) Australian Yearbook of International Law 1, at 3.

59 R. P. Anand, Origin and Development of the Law of the Sea (1983), 86. See also Alexandrowicz, supra note 11, at 65, 44.

note 11

60 R. P. Anand, New States and International Law (1972).

61 ‘In the sixties emphasis slowly began to shift from the study of the history of the law of nations to international institutions, although research of the former was not abandoned’. M. K. Nawaz, ‘International Law Research in India’, (1972) 12 IJIL 233, at 233.

62 ‘Inaugural Address by the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, Sri Jawaharlal Nehru, Patron’, (1960–1) 1 IJIL 5.

63 Nawaz, supra note 61, at 233–4. Nehru himself had noted in his inaugural address that ‘international law, if it is to be effective, has to be related to the realities of international life; otherwise it becomes merely an academic exercise of some professor or pandit sitting in a university’. ‘Inaugural Address’, supra note 62, at 6.

note 61
note 62

64 K. P. Saksena, ‘The United Nations in India's Foreign Policy Strategy’, in M. S. Rajan et al. (eds.), The Nonaligned and the United Nations (1987), 188, at 190.

65 R. Khan, Implied Powers of the United Nations (1970), 222.

66 R. P. Anand, for instance, published a spate of articles and three books on the subject: Compulsory Jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (1961); Studies in International Adjudication (1969); and International Courts and Contemporary Conflicts (1974). This last work was a study which was started in 1961 and contains, according to the author, a revised version of his doctoral dissertation submitted to the Yale Law School in 1964; see preface, at xi. D. Pratap published his Advisory Jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (1972); it also had begun as a doctoral dissertation, written in Oxford in the 1960s.

67 For a discussion of the award see Anand, Studies in International Adjudication, supra note 66, at 218–49; B. S. Murti, ‘The Kutch Award: A Preliminary Study’, (1968) 8 IJIL 51.

note 66

68 See, e.g., Anand, R. P., ‘“Tyranny” of the Freedom-of-the-Seas Doctrine’, (1973) 12 International Studies 417CrossRefGoogle Scholar; R. P. Anand, ‘Freedom of Navigation through Territorial Waters and International Straits’, (1974) 14 IJIL 169; R. P. Anand, Legal Regime of the Sea-Bed and the Developing Countries (1975); Anand, R. P., ‘Winds of Change in the Law of the Sea’, (1977) 16 International Studies 207CrossRefGoogle Scholar; R. P. Anand (ed.), Law of the Sea: Caracas and Beyond (1978); R. P. Anand, ‘Mid-ocean Archipelagoes in International Law: Theory and Practice’, (1979) 19 IJIL 228; S. C. Chaturvedi, ‘The North Sea Continental Shelf Cases Analysed’, (1973) 13 IJIL 481; V. C. Govindraj, ‘Land-Locked States – Their Right to the Resources of the Sea-Bed and Ocean Floor’, (1974) 14 IJIL 409; R. K. Dixit, ‘Freedom of Scientific Research on the High Seas’, (1971) 11 IJIL1; I. C. Jain, ‘Legal Control of Marine Pollution’, (1973) 13 IJIL 411; S. P. Jagota, ‘Basic Issues for the Forthcoming Conference on the Law of the Sea’, (1973) 13 IJIL 273; D. A. Kamat, ‘Recent Developments in the Law Relating to the Sea-Bed’, (1971) 11 IJIL 9; R. Khan, ‘The Fisheries Jurisdiction Case: A Critique’, (1975) 15 IJIL1; R. Khan, ‘The Fisheries Regime of the Exclusive Economic Zone’, (1976) 16 IJIL 169; R. Khan, The 200 Mile Exclusive Economic Zone: Indian Ocean Fisheries (1977); S. K. Kuba, ‘The Conditions of Exploration and Exploitation of the Sea-Bed Activities in the Proposed Area’, (1975) 15 IJIL 216; R. Lakshmanan, ‘The International Regulation of Fisheries’, (1973) 13 IJIL 367; V. S. Mani, ‘Resources of the Sea-Bed beyond National Jurisdiction: Who Shall Exploit and How?’, (1974) 14 IJIL 245; V. S. Mani, ‘India's Maritime Zones and International Law: A Preliminary Inquiry’, (1979) 21 Journal of the Indian Law Institute 336; R. A. Malaviya, ‘Marine Pollution in India’, (1979) 19 IJIL 344; M. K. Nawaz, ‘The North Sea Continental Shelf Cases – Revisited’, (1975) 15 IJIL 506; M. K. Nawaz, ‘The Emergence of Exclusive Economic Zone: Implications for the New Law of the Sea’, (1976) 16 IJIL 471; M. K. Nawaz, ‘Alternative Criteria for Delimiting the Continental Shelf’, (1973) 13 IJIL 25; M. K. Nawaz, ‘The Limits of Coastal State Jurisdiction: Continental Shelf Fisheries and Economic Zone’, (1974) 14 IJIL 261; R. Puri, ‘India's Maritime Zones Act 1976: Its Implications in International Law’, (1979) 19 IJIL 319; R. Puri, ‘Evolution of the Concept of Exclusive Economic Zone in UNCLOS III: India's Contribution’, (1980) 22 Journal of the Indian Law Institute 497; H. P. Rajan, ‘Towards Codification of Archipelagoes in International Law’, (1973) 13 IJIL 468; K. Narayan Rao, ‘Need There Be Two Parallel Legal Regimes on the Seas’, (1980) 20 IJIL 1; P. C. Rao, The New Law of Maritime Zones (1982); P. S. Rao, ‘Legal Regulation of Maritime Military Uses’, (1973) 13 IJIL 425; P. S. Rao, ‘System of Exploitation of the International Sea-Bed Resources’, (1977) 17 IJIL 52; P. S. Rao, ‘Public Order of Oceans: Problem and Prospects’, (1977) 17 IJIL 216; S. P. Sharma, ‘Ocean Law on the Eve of the New York Session’, (1976) 16 IJIL 105; M. Shyam, ‘International Straits and Ocean Law’, (1975) 15 IJIL 216; N. Singh, ‘The Issue of Reservations to the Proposed Law of the Sea Convention’, (1979) 19 IJIL 76; Y. K. Tyagi, ‘The System of Settlement of Disputes under the Law of the Sea Convention: An Overview’, (1985) 25 IJIL 191.

69 Anand, supra note 59, 184.

note 59

70 Ibid., at 185.


71 Ibid., at 189.


72 Ibid., at 209.


73 Ibid., at 210.


74 See, e.g., B. S. Chimni, ‘The New Regime of the Oceans: Illusion and Reality’, (1982) 22 IJIL 69.

75 See Law of the Sea: Report of the Secretary General on his Consultations on Outstanding Issues Relating to the Deep Seabed Mining Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, UN Doc. A/48/950 (1994).

76 R. P. Anand, ‘UNCLOS: Compromise or Mutilation?’, World Focus, No. 177 (September 1994), 3.

77 Anand summed up the dilemmas of dualism by concluding that despite the setbacks the international community was ‘better off with a universally recognized, comprehensive treaty on law of the sea with a new agreed law for the twenty-first century which in itself is no mean achievement’. Ibid., at 7.

78 S. K. Agrawala et al. (eds.), New Horizons of International Law and Developing Countries (1983), s. III.

79 Art. 16(1) states inter alia:

States which practise such coercive policies are economically responsible to the countries, territories and peoples affected for the restitution and full compensation for the exploitation and depletion of, and damages to, the natural and all other resources of those countries, territories and peoples.

See generally J. Miller and R. Kumar (eds.), Reparations: Interdisciplinary Inquiries (2007).

80 Kennedy, D., ‘The Sources of International Law’, (1987) 2 American University Journal of International Law and Policy 1Google Scholar.

81 However, see A. Jayagovinda, ‘Towards a Code of Conduct for the Transfer of Technology’, (1979) 19 IJIL 257; A. Jayagovinda, ‘The International Patent System and Developing Countries’, (1980) 20 IJIL 47; V. Gaurishankar, Taming the Giants: Transnational Corporations (1980); B. S. Chimni, International Commodity Agreements: A Legal Study (1987).

82 For an important intervention see S. R. Chowdhury and K. Hossain (eds.), Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources in International Law: Principles and Practices (1984).

83 For an account of the emergency rule see D. Selbourne, An Eye to India: The Unmasking of a Tyranny (1977).

84 As Sen has put it, ‘it is indeed remarkable that a community of voters who are ready to tolerate so much economic inequity and are so difficult to mobilize against elitist policies could be so quick to move in its rejection of tyranny’. A. Sen, ‘How Is India Doing?’, in R. A. Choudhary et al. (eds.), The Indian Economy and Its Performance since Independence (1990), 7, at 19.

85 See, however, Y. K. Tyagi, ‘Third World Response to Human Rights’, (1981) 21 IJIL 119; S. R. Chowdhury, Rule of Law in a State of Emergency: The Paris Minimum Standards of Human Rights Norms in a State of Emergency (1989).

86 Chatterjee, supra note 43, at 203.

note 43

87 N. Gandhi and N. Shah, The Issues at Stake: Theory and Practice in the Contemporary Women's Movement in India (1992), 20; N. Desai, ‘From Articulation to Accommodation: Women's Movement in India’, in L. Dube et al. (eds.), Visibility and Power: Essays on Women in Society and Development (1986), 287, at 295. See generally M. Chaudhuri (ed.), Feminism in India (2004).

88 H. Charlesworth and C. Chinkin, The Boundaries of International Law: A Feminist Analysis (2000).

89 However, the ‘gap’ in its publication was later filled by bringing out a single issue for each year between 1990 and 1995.

90 A. Sen, Development as Freedom (1999). For a critique see Chimni, B. S., ‘The Sen Conception of Development and Contemporary International Law Discourse: Some Parallels’, (2008) 1 Law and Development Review 1CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

91 C. Raghavan, Recolonization: GATT, the Uruguay Round and the Third World (1990); Chimni, B. S., ‘The Political Economy of the Uruguay Round of Negotiations: A Perspective’, (1992) 29 International Studies 135CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

92 Anghie, A. and Chimni, B. S., ‘Third World Approaches to International Law and Individual Responsibility in Internal Conflicts’, (2003) 2 Chinese Journal of International Law 77CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

93 L. Fernandez and P. Heller, ‘Hegemonic Aspirations: New Middle Class Politics and India's Democracy in Comparative Perspective’ (2006) 38 Critical Asian Studies 495, at 503.

94 Ibid. In the words of Chatterjee, ‘the urban middle class, which once played such a crucial role in producing and running the autonomous developmental state of the passive revolution, appears now to have largely come under the moral political sway of the bourgeoisie’; the ‘educational, professional and social aspirations of the middle classes have become tied with the fortunes of corporate capital’. P. Chatterjee, Democracy and Economic Transformation in India (2008), 8, 11.


95 B. S. Chimni, International Refugee Law: A Reader (2000).

96 See, for instance, B. S. Chimni, ‘The Geopolitics of Refugee Studies: A View from the South’, (1998) 11 Journal of Refugee Studies 350; and Chimni, B. S., ‘From Resettlement to Involuntary Repatriation: Toward a Critical History of Durable Solutions’, (2004) 23 Refugee Survey Quarterly 55CrossRefGoogle Scholar. For a set of essays published more recently on international humanitarian law see V. S. Mani (ed.), Handbook of International Humanitarian Law in South Asia (2007).

97 On the question of ‘humanitarian intervention’ see V. S. Mani, ‘Humanitarian Intervention Today’, (2005) 313 RCADI 9 Tyagi, Y. K., ‘The Right of Humanitarian Intervention Revisited’, (1995) 16 Michigan Journal of International Law 883Google Scholar; B. S. Chimni, ‘The International Law of Humanitarian Intervention’, in State Sovereignty in the 21st Century: Concept, Relevance and Limits (2001), 103; B. S. Chimni, ‘Towards a Third World Approach to Non-intervention: Through the Labyrinth of Western Doctrine’, (1980) 20 IJIL 243.

98 See generally D. Rodrik and M. Rosenzweig, ‘Development Policy and Development Economics: An Introduction’, available at

99 S. Menon, Address by Foreign Secretary on India's Foreign Policy, Delhi University, 19 January 2009, available at, at 5.

100 Nandy, supra note 18, at 48.

note 18

101 In the past decade the contributions of Baxi and Tyagi in the field of international human rights law and Desai in international environment law have been significant. See, e.g., U. Baxi, Human Rights in a Posthuman World: Critical Essays (2007); B. Desai, Institutionalizing International Environmental Law (2003); Y. K. Tyagi, ‘The Conflict of Law and Policy on Reservations to Human Rights Treaties’ (2000) British Yearbook of International Law 181. For a sample of contemporary writings of Indian scholars see B. N. Patel (ed.), India and International Law (2005).

102 See generally P. Sainath, Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories from India's Poorest Districts (2005).

103 D. Harvey, The New Imperialism (2003).

104 B. S. Chimni, ‘International Institutions Today: An Imperial Global State in the Making’, (2004) 15 EJIL 1.

105 The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is ‘the first law’ in India that puts ‘economic and social rights in a legal framework’, guaranteeing a certain minimum days’ employment. A. Roy and N. Dey, ‘Dalits, the Poor and the NREGA’, The Hindu, 28 August 2009.

106 See the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, available at See also National Human Rights Commission, National Seminar-cum-Public Consultation on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance: A Report (2001). While the grievances of the Dalit community are entirely legitimate, the few who equate discrimination on the basis of caste with that of race may heed the voices of Bourdieu and Wacquant, who have cautioned that ‘the recent, as well as unexpected, discovery of the “globalization of race” results, not from a sudden convergence of forms of ethno-racial domination in the various countries, but from the quasi-universalization of the US folk concept of “race” as a result of the successful world wide export of US scholarly categories’. P. Bourdieu and L. Wacquant, ‘The Cunning of Imperial Reason’, in L. Wacquant (ed.), Pierre Bourdieu and Democratic Politics (2005), 178, at 187.

107 U. K. Singh, The State, Democracy and Anti-terror Laws in India (2007), 317.

108 B. Rajagopal, International Law from Below (2004).

109 P. Chatterjee, A Possible India: Essays in Political Criticism (1997), 280.

110 See Chimni, B. S., ‘The Past, Present and Future of International Law: A Critical Third World Approach’, (2007) 8 Melbourne Journal of International Law 499Google Scholar.

111 N. Fraser, Scales of Justice (2009). See also B. S. Chimni, ‘A Just World under Law: A View from the South’, (2007) 22 American University International Law Review 199.

112 Kaviraj, S., ‘An Outline of a Revisionist Theory of Modernity’, (2005) 46 (3) European Journal of Sociology 497CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

113 Khilnani, supra note 5, at 198.

note 5

114 S. Pollock, ‘Cosmopolitan and Vernacular in History’, (2000) 12 Public Culture 591, at 603. Pollock goes on to state that while ‘power, for example, was interested in culture but not in a way that necessarily reduced culture to an instrument of legitimation, as Weberian sociology might lead us to suppose a priori. Here and elsewhere we need to theorize Indian cosmopolitanism from its effects.’ Ibid., at 603–4.

115 For a detailed analysis see B. S. Chimni, ‘Retrieving “Other” Visions of the Future: Sri Aurobindo and the Ideal of Human Unity’, in B. G. Jones (ed.), Decolonizing International Relations (2006), 197.

116 K. Jaspers, Selected Essays: Philosophy and the World (1963), 106.

117 J. N. Mohanty, Explorations in Philosophy: Essays by J. N. Mohanty, ed. B. Gupta, Vol. 1: Indian Philosophy (2001), 67.

118 A. Nandy, The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self under Colonialism (1983), 73.

119 Ibid.


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International Law Scholarship in Post-colonial India: Coping with Dualism
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International Law Scholarship in Post-colonial India: Coping with Dualism
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International Law Scholarship in Post-colonial India: Coping with Dualism
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