Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Book on International NGOs & Lawmaking

The Normative Position of International Non-Governmental Organizations under International Law: An Analytical Framework, by Rephael Harel Ben-Ari:
The activities of International Non-Governmental Organizations give rise to multifaceted questions of legality and legitimacy. The normative position of INGOs within the 'international community' has proved to be acutely controversial, demanding a fundamental reconsideration of the concepts of the nation-state and of international organizations of all kinds. There is manifestly a crying need for a comprehensive framework against which the capacity of international law to comprehend these complex issues can be measured. This book explores contemporary approaches towards INGOs, those based on criticism of the doctrine of international legal personality as well as those adopting a functional-constitutional perspective. It engages in a stimulating and thorough interdisciplinary evaluation of the theoretical and practical potential of these theories to generate solutions for the problems produced by the exercise of unregulated authority outside the state-system. The book investigates the main concepts put forward by international lawyers within 'postmodern' discourse, among them 'global civil society', 'globalization' and 'governance', and examines their consistency with existing institutional arrangements, and the century-old attempts to standardize the status of INGOs.
This is of interest to those studying the international tax institutions and thinking about whether there ought to be more participation from NGOs in drawing up international tax norms.  Groups like Action Aid and Global Witness are beginning to emerge in international tax discussions along side the more established quasi-governmental OECD and the business NGOs like the OECD's BIAC, the Intl Fiscal Association and the Int'l Chamber of Commerce.  The exercise of authority outside of the familiar state-based "hard law" structure presents normative challenges we haven't developed sufficiently in tax.

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