A reader has alerted me to this fascinating law paper at Auckland University:
LAW495 Colonialism to Globalisation
In the late 15th century, imperialist Europe emerged intent on exploring and possessing the New World. Fast forward through five hundred years of colonialism, capitalism, slavery, industrialisation, genocide, and international law and greet the 21st century in all its paradoxical glory. We now live in a world characterised by political binaries: developed & underdeveloped; civilised & primitive; wealthy & poor; lawful & unlawful. Did international law play a part in introducing the new world to the old one and, more insidiously, in dispossessing the new one for the benefit of the old one?
I love how capitalism is inserted in there along with slavery and genocide.
Following a brief review of historical inequity, we will turn our attention to the colonial origins of international law and its role in facilitating the subordination of native inhabitants in favour of European settlers. Our examination will then take us through a series of case studies – human rights, intellectual property rights, military interventions, labour (de)regulation, and the world trading system – all of which will be considered primarily from the hushed perspectives of the Third World.
I may be wrong here but I suspect if you hand in an essay about how free trade based on an international legal framework is responsible for lifting tens of millions out of poverty, then you’re not going to get an A.
I may be wrong of course. Would love to hear from any current or former students who did the course.