Ethnicity and International Law presents an historical account of the impact of ethnicity on the making of international law. The development of international law since the nineteenth century is characterised by the inherent tension between the liberal and conservative traditions of dealing with what might be termed the 'problem' of ethnicity. The present-day hesitancy of liberal international law to engage with ethnicity in ethnic conflicts and ethnic minorities has its roots in these conflicting philosophical traditions. In international legal studies, both the relevance of ethnicity, and the traditions of understanding it, lie in this fact.
Mohammad Shahabuddin is a lecturer in law at Keele University, where his research focuses on the postcolonial critique of the concept of ethnicity and its role in the making of international law.
1. Ethnicity in the discourse on the 'self' and the 'other': liberal and conservative traditions, and their implications; 2. Colonialism and international law: a story of two traditions; 3. Ethnicity in interwar international law: the minority protection regime in perspective; 4. Ethnicity in the era of liberalism: human rights, minority protection, and the post-Cold War paradigm shifts; 5. Liberal individualism meets conservative passion: international law responses to ethnicity in ethnic conflicts; Conclusion.