The 'Unwilling or Unable State' as a Challenge to International Law

Seminar/Forum

The 'Unwilling or Unable State' as a Challenge to International Law

The notion of the ‘unwilling or unable state’ has recently lived through a renaissance in international law and international relations discourse. This revival has been initiated by the increasing significance of threats stemming from non-state actors acting from the territory of states that fail to prevent their terrorist endeavours. It is closely entangled with the debate on the right to self-defence.

This seminar will show how the notion of the ‘unwilling or unable state’ is employed within the international legal and political discourse. It will depict what normative implications are attributed to it by the various discourse participants, and reflect on the conceptual challenges connected with it. It will also critically assess how it fits into the scheme of existing international legal rules and highlight its potential dangers.

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