International Relations

Symposium on Early Career International Law Academia: Gender Disparity in Academic Citations: Tips for Rectifying the Gender Gap among Early Career International Law Academics and Practitioners

The impetus for this blog post was the excellent book Invisible Women by Caroline Criado-Perez. Among other things, the book highlights evidence for the existence of a gender gap in the frequency of citations: plainly, women are cited much less than men in academic works. I would argue that this gender gap is likely to be equally pervasive in the context of international legal scholarship, and particularly prejudicial to junior women practitioners and early career researchers (“ECRs”). With this phenomenon in mind, this piece proceeds in three parts. First, it reviews the more general evidence for the existence of a gender gap in academic citations and legal scholarship. Second, it provides a personal perspective by reviewing gender equality in my own citation practice. Finally, it concludes by recommending best practices to minimize the gender gap, with an emphasis on the role of ECRs.

Matteo Grilli and Frank Gerits (eds.), Visions of African Unity: New Perspectives on the History of Pan-Africanism and African Unification Projects (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)

The new collection Visions of African Unity edited by Matteo Grilli and Frank Gerits is very welcome. Pan-Africanism and African unity are highly significant in the modern history of the continent, yet have too rarely received the sustained academic attention they deserve. The editors have done well to establish a diverse set of contributors from Africa, Europe and America, with specialisms in history, law, and international relations. The subject is a broad one, and the chapters reflect this. Many of them are highly engaging and informative and will be of value to scholars interested in the particular facets covered as well as in the broader subject

Book Symposium Introduction: Visions of African Unity: New Perspectives on the History of Pan-Africanism and African Unification Projects

This edited volume explores continental and international visions of African unity. Continental integration had many different iterations beyond the OAU and it is therefore approached by contributors not only as a political project, but also as an ideology, a cultural marker and a legal issue. This collection is also a discussion of the place of African unity within the international system, a topic that is underreached despite the archives revealing how officials in the Global North struggled to understand the pan-African and pan-Arab challenges to international relations.

Demystifying Digital Development: How the Indigenization of Knowledge-led Economic Competencies Mediates Maturational Economic Outcomes for Africa and the Caribbean

Knowledge is the base upon which anyone state can conceivably articulate its unique advantage (and distinction) within the global market. Development within this knowledge-led domain will require a wholesale ideological rethink — a redefinition of the Global South, no longer the site of economic dereliction purposed of (raw) material extraction by the Global North but, rather, as the location of knowledge for the use of African and Caribbean knowledge-industry market ambition. The importance of knowledge and digital (technology) as drivers for economic development not only canonizes knowledge as the most crucial comparative advantage in any one state’s economic toolkit but also telegraphs the path of (state) evolution African and Caribbean states must take in individual or partnered initiative. Put simply; knowledge is directly proportional to economic power, which, if left to systemic tailwinds and the unevolved state organism, will continue to remain the remit of those within the knowledge and digital imperium.

Book Symposium Introduction: Energy Poverty and Access Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Role of Regionalism

I am proud to present this book symposium on my book titled, Energy Poverty and Access Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa: The role of Regionalism (Palgrave, 2019).  With the increasing role of regionalism and globalism, this book discusses the various energy challenges in Africa, and how these can be addressed through regional cooperation.

Can States Invoke the National Security Exception in the TRIPS Agreement in Response to COVID-19?

In theory, states may be able to invoke Article 73(b)(iii) in defence of measures that are implemented to tackle COVID-19. However, in this post, I have not sought to analyse whether or not invoking Article 73(b)(iii) is a realistic option for some states (especially those in the global south). In a separate post published here, I have suggested that, while (in theory) states might be able to invoke the security exception in the TRIPS Agreement in response to COVID-19, this is not necessarily a realistic option (especially for states that do not possess local manufacturing capacity).

Intellectual Property Rights: Global Rules, Regional and National Realities

In the webinar, the panelists brilliantly discussed salient subjects pertinent to global intellectual property (IP) rights rules and relevant implementation mechanisms at regional and national levels. In quintessential Afronomicslaw.org fashion, the discussions underscored Global South interests and reinforced the importance of fostering development-oriented IP systems.

The Fire Next Time: International Economic Law and the Existential Politics of Climate Change

It is time for international economic law to start paying serious attention. Law and politics have a complementary role in addressing the growing climate change crisis. Law has to pay attention to its antecedent: politics.