[Global City project] PhD defence day for Miha Marčenko on the role of the city in international law and governancePublished 17 September 2021
On Wednesday September 22, Asser PhD researcher Miha Marčenko will defend his doctoral thesis on 'The Role of the City as a Discursive Practice in International Law and Governance', in the Agnietenkapel (16.00 hrs CET) of the University of Amsterdam. Supervisors are Prof. Dr. J.E. Nijman and Prof. Dr. E.M.H. Hirsch Ballin. Co-supervisor is Dr G.M. Gordon.
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Marčenko’s research is part of the project ‘The Global City: Challenges, Trust and the Role of Law’, led by Asser chairperson and PhD-supervisor Janne E. Nijman. Questions this project explores, among others, are about the role and position claimed by the global city on the international stage and the implications for its relationship with international law.
The city as a stabilising and disrupting element
Miha Marčenkos’ thesis argues ‘that the discursive frame of the city, shaped by different trajectories of international ordering that contentiously coexist within networked governance, is both a stabilising and a disrupting element in international law and governance’.
Project leader Janne E. Nijman: “Miha’s thesis brings critical thinking to the emerging field of international law and cities. As a public international lawyer, Miha relates to the increasing manifestations of the city in the international legal order in a very interesting manner; showing the complexities, tensions, and politics coming with the mobilisation of the city in international law. I am delighted Miha contributes such an original take to the debate and look forward to his defence.”
About the Global City project
The Global City Project, which consisted of a team of four PhD researchers, has an innovative and multidisciplinary outlook, bringing history, geography and socio-legal studies to its examinations. It covered research on a number of related themes: diversity, migration and trade (including the slave trade); political participation and citizenship; the role of law, fundamental rights and duties as a possible source of trust in the global city of the past and present; and the role and position of the global city in the international (legal) order of the past and present.
Earlier this year, in June, Global city team members Yehonatan Elazar- DeMota and Lisa Roodenburg were the two first PhD researchers to defend their doctoral thesis. After Marčenko’s defence end September 2021, Asser PhD researcher Julia van der Krieke will follow suit.
The Global City Project is supported by the Gieskes-Strijbis Foundation.
Abstract: ‘The Role of the City as a Discursive Practice in International Law and Governance’ - Miha Marčenko
This thesis examines the city as a discursive practice in international law and governance. It approaches the city as a discursive phenomenon, which, in international law and governance, is shaped by a network of actors.
The city is practised as an organising frame for international norm-and-policy-making by international institutions, intercity organisations, international non-governmental organisations and other institutional actors. To show the networked complexity of the city as a discursive practice, this thesis focuses specifically on the international networked governance of urban and housing issues. The case study of this networked field of international governance shows how involved actors articulate the city's international role through the agency of municipal governments, the use of the concept of decentralization, and the visibility of the city as a distinct socio-political space.
Additionally, the analysis of the city as a discursive practice, as it arises within the international networked governance of urban and housing issues, shows it to be defined by a particular discursive dynamic of international law. The state-centric formal trajectory of international law, the trajectory of diffusion of international legal authority, and a post-political trajectory of vertical — normative — consolidation interact in networked governance and together shape the role(s) of the city. This thesis argues that the discursive frame of the city, shaped by different trajectories of international ordering that contentiously coexist within networked governance, is both a stabilising and a disrupting element in international law and governance.
Download the full thesis.
Watch the livestream.
For more information about cities and international law, please visit our Global Cities weblog.