For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!

Creation of Legal Bindingness in International Law: Whose Voice Matters?

My research project (PhD) investigates the role of domestic actors (i.e. the governmental entities and non-governmental entities) in the creation of international legal ‘bindingness’. The project particularly sheds the light on the question of “who” (the actors) and “how” (the process) that has been hidden behind the veil of state under the theory and the doctrine of sources.

Especially, the project investigates whether the various actors other than the traditional “state” have their roles in creating international law in the strict sense, i.e. treaties. (This project does not focus on the “rule” making). The case study is the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (‘the UNFCCC’).

In conducting the inquiry, this project combines the study of legal theory and the methodology of social science approach. Chapter 1 critically re-construct doctrinal concepts of international law: the concept of ’bindingness’, and ’law making actors’, and ‘contribution by the actors’ through which I collect/produce the empirical data. It also establishes the methodology to identify the ‘contribution’ by the ‘actors’ in creation of ‘bindingness’. The methodology involves inter-disciplinary approach with social science (i.e. process tracing, qualitative causation) Drawing upon Chapter 1, the following Chapters of the project empirically examine the domestic decision‑making processes of certain Parties (EU, China, Japan and the USA). By doing so, the project seeks to contribute the theory and doctrine of international legal sources, which lack a proper framework to capture increasing visibility of various actors and places where the normative activities take place.

Duration: Since 2016

Researcher: Maiko Meguro

Supervisors:      Jean d’Aspremont (University of Manchester, Sciences Po)

                            André Nollkaemper (UvA)

                            Markos Karavias (University of Utrecht, UvA)


Ms M. (Maiko) Meguro

PhD Researcher