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vbo has posted several times on the transparently imperial nature of such bodies as the UN and the International Criminal Court.  The very idea of international law is ridiculous without the idea that there is some power capable of enforcing it, and the whole idea of enforcing legal judgements against sovereign entities is inherently imperial.
I have to disagree - among a community of individuals it is possible for the community to enforce judgements on individuals, or at least punish noncompliant individuals, by shunning.

Don't tell me the Apartheid embargo in the 1980s was imperial in nature.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 3rd, 2011 at 03:56:07 AM EST
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No, I don't think it was an active case of imperialism, unless you want to count cultural imperialism as imperialism, and that doesn't even work in this case given the cultural and ethnic heritage of the ruling whites in South Africa.

I think the South Africa case is a good example of the power that non-governmental organizations and popular sentiment can still have given the formal mechanisms of democracy, especially in situations where no obvious interests were at stake.

But as you say, it was a case of shunning, combined with rather substantial internal pressure.  Not International Judgement, according to some set of formal procedures.  One might even call it popular diplomacy.  Diplomacy is great, and there should be more of it at all levels.

That diplomacy matters, though, because of the global system of trade, which is a by-product of empire, and the larger set of social and cultural expectations of the dominant powers in that empire.  

Actually, as I was trying to think through my newly formed and still largely incoherent thoughts on this issue, the South African case did pop into my mind.

by Zwackus on Sat Sep 3rd, 2011 at 04:05:34 AM EST
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