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Nostalghia: A Nordic International Law

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image of Nordic Journal of International Law

Is there a Nordic approach to international law? I argue that a substantive Nordic approach to international law is absent today, and explore why the question of a Nordic international law would emerge today and how the craving for Nordic identity might be overcome. I look into select evidence relating to the use of force, to international recognition and to international humanitarian law to show the material vacuity of contemporary Nordic cooperation in key areas. The epoch of Nordic legal entrepreneurialism taking off during 19th century, Nordic international law is now ending, and non-alignment with it. This brings me to ask how the melancholic longing for a ‘Nordic international law’ might be transgressed. Here, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia of 1983 comes in. It confronts us with the question of what imperatives – legal or other – grow from our melancholia for homelands and persons no longer with us.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of International Law, Faculty of Law, Lund University, Lund, Sweden


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