Western International Law and China’s Confucianism in the 19th century
The article entitled “Western International Law and China’s Confucianism in the 19th century. Collision and Integration” written by Yang Zewei explores the relationship between Confucianism in China and Western international law. The author claims that since China’s legal and diplomatic system was based on the concept of the Celestial Empire, it was not until the Opium Wars that the international law began to influence China, colliding and eventually integrating with Chinese law.
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Zewei provides a characterization of the Tributary System and the concept of the Celestial Order of China, the impact of international law on China’s Confucianism worldview, and the process of integration of international law into Chinese legal system. Zewei concludes by emphasizing that the influence of international law, including the collision with Confucianism, facilitated the process of modernization of China. The author provides several final characteristics of the process of collision and integration, such as China’s compromise as the outcome of two opposed standpoints, the pressure to acknowledge the international law exerted by the Western world, and the importance of integration of China’s Confucianism with international law for the country’s modernization.
The Politics of NGOs, Human Rights, and Arab-Israeli Conflict
The article entitled “The Politics of NGOs, Human Rights, and Arab-Israeli Conflict” written by Gerald M. Steinberg examines the activity of non-governmental organizations and their influence on Arab-Israeli political conflict. Steinberg pinpoints the reason for the NGOs influential activities, which is their “soft power”, or the capacity of convincing people by means of attraction rather than force. The author emphasizes that NGOs have grown into political powers over the recent years, especially in the case of Arab-Israeli conflict. They have gained influence through media coverage and due to numerous sources of funding.
Steinberg indicates several drawbacks of NGOs, such as a lack of transparency, accountability, and the system of checks and balances. The author concludes by recommending a necessary course of action. In order to solve the current problems, it is necessary to improve NGOs’ transparency of the organization and funding sources, improve accountability, and implement the system of checks-and-balances.
Human Rights and Business
The article entitled “Human Rights and Business” written by Cragg, Arnold, and Muchlinski examines the issue of human rights on the level of international discussion. The authors point out that even though this issue was widely debated throughout the centuries, the first documented discussion by the international organizations did not take place until the 1980s when the UN Code of Conduct on Transnational Corporations was drafted (Cragg, Arnold, and Muchlinski 1).
In the 1990s, the issue of human rights finally piqued the interest of the global academic community. The authors of the article emphasize that the reasons for the delay are not difficult to determine. Before the last quarter of the twentieth century, it was rather common to perceive the issues of human rights, their advancement and protection as the responsibility of the government. From the viewpoint of the private business sector, it was an indirect responsibility.
In the 1990s, this approach was finally questioned, and the responsibilities for human rights protection were rethought. The authors suggest that globalization served as an impetus for this change in perception of human rights protection. This phenomenon resulted in questioning the governments’ capability to meet the necessary requirements regarding human rights responsibilities. Moreover, in 1995, Nigerian government executed Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight Ogonist. This event additionally spurred the process of change and rethinking the human rights responsibilities.
Cragg, Wesley, Denis G. Arnold, and Peter Muchlinski. “Guest Editors’ Introduction: Human Rights and Business.” Business Ethics Quarterly 22.01 (2012): 1-7.