The Subjects of Public International Law in a Globalized World

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The Subjects of Public International Law in a Globalized World

Today we are witnessing a fundamental shift in Public International Law (PIL) in which the number of actors increases dramatically and in which communication means power. The matrix of PIL is undergoing a major change. This change is not abrupt but has to be seen in the context of the shift away from the Westphalian model of PIL since 1945. Also, globalization is not a new phenomenon, although the current era of globalization, which was made possible due to the fall of the iron curtain and recent technological developments, raises the question how to describe the emerging international legal community in terms of international legal theory. As the importance of the role of the state as an actor of international law is reduced (albeit not to a degree that the state would lose its de facto primacy among the subjects of international law), other actors are gaining ground, in particular international organizations, transnational corporations, NGOs and individuals. Today the latter not only have rights under Public International Law but are also involved in the creation of new rules of international law.

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