International law faces several structural changes: from the advent of asymmetric wars, the war on terror, the resurrection of targeted killings, piracy to the degradation of the global environment or the challenges posed by the global economic crisis. These challenges escape the constitutive confines of the state system and require new answers. For some, the legal system is in need of a new constitution and a new hierarchy of norms. Proponents of this thesis point to new supranational rules, human rights, transnational judicial cooperation, general principles of law and procedural aspects. Others, however, witness a fragmentation of international law, arguing that the functional differentiation of international law challenges its unity and hierarchy. Yet others have contended that international law has become increasingly politicized since the end of the Cold War - and especially since 9/11. The current literature treats fragmentation, politicization and constitutionalisation as separate or opposite trends in the international legal order. This Action takes as a vantage point that they have to be thought together as dimensions of a more fundamental systemic change. This Action therefore brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines to analyze this complex relationship and assess the changing structure of the legal system.


Working papers and project descriptions