Nicholas Onuf Bibliography Mla

1Hoffmann, Stanley, “International Systems and International Law,” World Politics, 101961 (Vol. 14, No. 1), pp. 205–237.

2Kaplan, Morton A. and Katzenbach, Nicholas deB., The Political Foundations of International Law (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1961), chapter 2.

3Friedmann, Wolfgang, The Changing Structure of International Law (New York: Columbia University Press, 1964), pp.262–272; Falk, Richard A., “Janus Tormented: The International Law of Internal War,” in Rosenau, James N., ed., International Aspects of Civil Strife (Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1964), pp. 185–249.

4Coplin, William D., “International Law and Assumptions about the State System,” World Politics, 071965 (Vol. 17, No. 4), pp. 615–634.

5Scott, Andrew M., “Nonintervention and Conditional Intervention,” and Young, Oran R., “Intervention and International Systems,” both in Journal of International Affairs, 1968 (Vol. 22, No. 2), pp. 208–216 and 177–187, respectively.

6Young, Oran R., Trends in International Peacekeeping (Research Monograph No. 22) (Princeton, N.J: Center of International Studies, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, 1966).

7 See, in addition to the works cited, Hoffmann, Stanley, “International Law and the Control of Force,” and Falk, Richard A., “The Relevance of Political Context to the Nature and Functioning of International Law: An Intermediate View,” both in Deutsch, Karl W. and Hoffmann, Stanley, eds., The Relevance of International Law: Essays in Honor of Leo Gross (Cambridge, Mass: Schenkman Publishing Co., 1968), pp. 21–46 and 133–152, respectively; Coplin, William D., The Functions of International Law: An Introduction to the Role of International Law in the Contemporary World (Chicago: Rand McNally & Co., 1966); Scott, Andrew M., The Functioning of the International Political System (New York: Macmillan Co., 1967), chapter 14.

8 While advancing the general argument that international law follows system structure Kaplan has warned against imputing a “strict determinism” to the relationship. Kaplan, Morton A., “Constitutional Structures and Processes in the International Arena,” in Falk, Richard A. and Black, Cyril E., eds., The Future of the International Legal Order, Vol. 1: Trends and Patterns (Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1969), p. 155.

9 Coplin did suggest that an “international political culture” results from the performance of this system function of international law, but he has given only a few clues on how the existence or further growth of such a culture might affect system action. Coplin, pp. 188–195.

In the case of international organization Oran R. Young has commented that in the common “realist” view the United Nations is “nothing but a mirror or reflector of its component members” and thus of the system itself. He argued that this “glosses over a number of important nuances” by which he meant a number of functions performed by the organization which have real consequences for the system. Other writers have also examined international organization in terms of system functions. See Young's, “The United Nations and the International System,” International Organization, Autumn1968 (Vol. 22, No. 4), pp. 902–903, and, for example, the editorial material in Gregg, Robert W. and Barkun, Michael, eds., The United Nations System and Its Functions: Selected Readings (Princeton, N.J: Van Nostrand Co., 1968).

10Hoffmann, Stanley, “Introduction,” in Scheinman, Lawrence and Wilkinson, David, eds., International Law and Political Crisis: An Analytic Casebook (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1968), pp. xi–xix. The quotation is from p. xvii.

11 It is not always appreciated that functional explanation is but a special case of causal explanation, and with the exception of Oran R. Young system-oriented writers have abjured the use of causal language. On the nature of functional explanation see Stinchcombe, Arthur L., Constructing Social Theories (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1968), pp. 80–91; for Young's groundbreaking work on the relationship of major system variables see A Systemic Approach to International Politics (Research Monograph No. 33) (Princeton, N.J: Center of International Studies, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, 1968), pp. 27–49.

12 On the history and nature of the principles of peaceful coexistence see, especially, Lapenna, Ivo, “The Legal Aspects and Political Significance of the Soviet Concept of Co-Existence,” International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 071963 (Vol. 12, Part 3), pp. 737–777, and Ramundo, Bernardo A., Peaceful Coexistence, International Law in the Building of Communism (Baltimore, Md: Johns Hopkins Press, 1967).

13 See Hazard, John N., “The Sixth Committee and New Law,” American Journal of International Law, 071963 (Vol. 57, No. 3), pp. 604–605, and McWhinney, Edward, “The ‘New’ Countries and the ‘New’ International Law: The United Nations' Special Conference on Friendly Relations and Co-Operation among States,” American Journal of International Law, 011966 (Vol. 60, No. 1), pp. 1–2, 29–30.

14 General Assembly Official Records (17th session), Supplement No. 9, paragraphs 58 and 61, p. 33; and UN Document A/5771, paragraph 110, reprinted in General Assembly Official Records (18th session), Annexes, Agenda Item 71, p. 38.

15 General Assembly Resolution 1966 (XVIII), December 16, 1963.

16 The General Assembly had adopted these formulations of the seven principles during its session of the year before. See General Assembly Resolution 1815 (XVII), December 18, 1962.

17 For details see UN Document A/5746, paragraphs 19–25, reprinted in General Assembly Official Records (20th session), Annexes, Agenda Items 90 and 94, pp. 82–83.

18Ibid., paragraph 12, p. 81.

19 The Western argument, with varying emphases, is found in the British draft proposal and accompanying commentary and in speeches of the French and United States representatives. See UN documents A/AC.119/L.8, paragraph 205, p. 116, in ibid.; A/AC.119/SR.28, pp. 8–10; A/AC.119/SR.29, pp. 8–9; A/AC.119/SR.32, p. 12.

20 The non-Western argument is best illustrated by speeches of the representatives of Mexico, the Socialist Republic of Romania, and the United Arab Republic. See UN documents A/AC.119/SR.26, pp. 6–8; A/AC.119/SR.30, pp. 4–6; A/AC.119/SR.31, pp. 11–12.

21 More compatible in these proposals were prefatory definitions of intervention, all of them following article 15 of the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS), which states:

No State or group of States has the right to intervene directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements.

The several proposals, or at least their parts relating to the principle of nonintervention (UN documents A/AC.119/L.6, 7, 24, and 27), are found in UN Document A/5746, paragraphs 203, 204, 208, and 209, pp. 115–117.

22 The debate is summarized in UN Document A/6165, paragraphs 18–21, reprinted in General Assembly Official Records (20th session), Annexes, Agenda Items 90 and 94, p. 147.

23 General Assembly Resolution 2103 (XX), December 20, 1965.

24 UN Document A/5977 reprinted in General Assembly Official Records (20th session), Annexes, Agenda Item 107, pp. 1–2.

25 The relevant documents are reprinted in General Assembly Official Records (20th session), Annexes, Agenda Item 107, pp. 2–8.

26 UN Document A/C.1/L.364/Add.1. Despite its geographical position Yugoslavia's voting behavior puts it in a grouping with most other Asian-African states which is empirically distinct from other groupings including the West on an East-West axis and the Socialist states on a North-South axis. See Russett, Bruce M., Trends in World Politics (New York: Macmillan Co., 1965), p. 69.

27 The United States emphasized the importance of this paragraph as a condition of its acceptance of the 57-power draft. See the speech of Charles Yost (United States) in General Assembly Official Records (20th session), First Committee, 1423rd meeting, paragraph 6, p. 436.

28 See Claude, Inis L.Jr, The Changing United Nations (New York: Random House, 1967), pp. 58–61 and 96–99, on the function of collective legitimization of the United Nations as illustrated by decolonization.

29 In a remarkably parallel process the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (General Assembly Resolution 1514 [XV] of December 14, 1960) also had its source in a Soviet initiative which was transformed in content, though not in title, through Asian-African efforts and was overwhelmingly adopted. See Kay, David A., “The Politics of Decolonization: The New Nations and the United Nations Political Process,” International Organization, Autumn1967 (Vol. 21, No. 4), pp. 787–794, for details.

30 The debate is summarized in UN Document A/6230, paragraphs 292–299, reprinted in General Assembly Official Records (21st session), Annexes, Agenda Item 87, pp. 67–68. See also Houben, Piet-Hein, “Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-Operation among States,” American Journal of International Law, 071967 (Vol. 61, No. 3), pp. 703–736.

31 UN Document A/AC.125/L.17 reprinted in UN Document A/6230, paragraph 284, p. 66.

32 UN Document A/AC.125/L.19 reprinted in ibid., paragraph 285, p. 66.

33 The roll-call votes arc given in ibid., paragraphs 337–339, pp. 73–74.

34Ibid., paragraph 584, p. 109. The report of the drafting committee is found in paragraph 353, p. 77.

35 The Sixth Committee's debate is summarized in UN Document A/6547, paragraphs 52–58, reprinted in General Assembly Official Records (21st session), Annexes, Agenda Item 87, pp. 124–126.

36 General Assembly Resolution 2181 (XXI), December 12, 1966.

37 The draft resolution (UN Document A/AC.125/L.54) is found in General Assembly Official Records (22nd session), Annexes, Agenda Item 87, p. 45.

38Ibid., paragraphs 457–480, pp. 65–67.

39 This order of priority was formalized by the Sixth Committee through a statement of its chairman. UN Document A/7429, paragraph 71, reprinted in General Assembly Official Records (23rd session), Annexes, Agenda Item 87, p. 11.

40 General Assembly resolutions 2327 (XXII), December 18, 1967, 2463 (XXIII), December 20, 1968, and 2533 (XXIV), December 8, 1969.

41 In the twelve meetings which the Sixth Committee devoted to the principles of friendly relations among states in 1968 only once was the invasion of Czechoslovakia referred to explicitly and then only in passing by the United States representative: “Despite the tension and disillusionment prevailing after the invasion and occupation of Czechoslovakia, the Special Committee has made fresh progress. …” Both in passing and in general terms the Soviet representative defended the new doctrine of legitimate Socialist intervention. See the speeches of Marvin Warner (United States) and Yakov Ostrovsky (Soviet Union) in General Assembly Official Records (23rd session), Sixth Committee, 1091st and 1092nd meetings, pp. 10 and 7, respectively.

42 After these words were written the deadlock in the special committee was resolved and a draft declaration adopted ad referendum (May 1, 1970). A compromise appears to have been arranged which involves two significant changes in the formulation of the principle of nonintervention contained in Resolution 2131. First, the legal character of the principle of nonintervention is expressly affirmed and, second, reference to the principle of self-determination is deleted.

The first change obviously reflects the position of non-Western states on the status of the principle of nonintervention, while the second reflects the Western position on its content. Yet, neither change is really substantive in nature since the legal character of the seven principles of friendly relations has always been stipulated (as in the special committee's full tide) and since the draft declaration also formulates the principle of self-determination and provides that all seven principles are interrelated.

The draft declaration was adopted by the General Assembly, without vote, as an annex to Resolution 2625 (XXV), October 24, 1970. It is reprinted in the UN Monthly Chronicle, 11 1970 (Vol. 7, No. 10), pp. 99–105.

43 This is a matter of growing controversy. For two positions see Falk, Richard A., “On the Quasi-Legislative Competence of the General Assembly,” American Journal of International Law, 101966 (Vol. 60, No. 4), pp. 782–791, and Onuf, N. G., “Professor Falk on the Quasi-Legislative Competence of the General Assembly,” American Journal of International Law, 041970 (Vol. 64, No. 2), pp. 349–355.

44 This discussion owes much to Coplin's work on the system function of international law. What Coplin has not done, however, is to differentiate between general principles and substantive rules and then identify the former especially with the communication of “assumptions about the state system.” See also Barkun, Michael, Law without Sanctions: Order in Primitive Societies and the World Community (New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press, 1968), chapter 8, for a discussion of law in all societies, international included, as a “set of interrelated symbols” (p. 151).

45Scott, has noted that “nonintervention is an obvious corollary of national sovereignty, for if national sovereignty is good, interference with a state's integrity must be bad.” Scott, , Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 22, No. 2, p. 208.

46 This paragraph and the ones following bear a debt to Röling's, B. V. A. suggestive thesis that “sociological change in the community of nations and in the accompanying function and content of the law is comparable to the change on the national level.” International Law in an Expanding World (Amsterdam: Djambatan, 1960), p. 56. Röling developed his thesis, pp. 56–65, in terms of what he called the law of liberty, protective law, and the law of welfare.

47 The term “self-determination” here refers not just to the simple act of decolonization but more generally to the protection of developing states from neo- and postcolonial influences. For a recent, detailed discussion of the term as used in this sense, with particular reference to United Nations practice, see Van Dyke, Vernon, “Self-Determination and Minority Rights,” International Studies Quarterly, 091969 (Vol. 13, No. 3), pp. 223–253.

48 Indicatively, when the special committee decided in 1966 to widen the scope of Resolution 2131 but failed to agree on additional points doing so, five Asian-African states proposed as one such addition that “aid and assistance given to peoples under any form of colonial domination …” cannot be considered intervention. UN Document A/AC.125/L.12/Rev.1 and Corr.1, in UN Document A/6230, paragraph 278, p. 65.

49 Though not yet discussed in relation to the principle of nonintervention, still another principle of general import has gained limited expression through the United Nations. This is the principle of peaceful uses, as applied to newly accessible environments like Antarctica, outer space, and the ocean floor. In time the principle of peaceful uses may be applied to resource use within national jurisdictions and extended to include community supervision. As such, it would be analogous to the incipient domestic principle of community responsibility for the maintenance of ecological balance.

50 In a recently published essay A. A. Fatouros has delineated (and has also given due credit to Röling) the emergence of the “two new international legal principles” which are discussed here, but he has interpreted them in a substantive rather than symbolic sense. While changes in the substantive law are undeniably taking place, so also are changes in the symbolic characterization of the system within which that law resides. Fatouros notwithstanding, this means that the new principles have a considerable “abstract” importance for states. “Participation of the New States in the International Legal Order of the Future,” in Falk, and Black, , pp. 364–368. Quotation is from p. 364.

51 Russett, pp. 69 and 83, found this a characteristic maneuver of the Socialist bloc in the case of self-determination issues. Curiously, he identified these issues, along with cold-war issues, as having an East-West dimension in contrast to the North-South dimension of economic development issues. For Russett the two dimensions are defined by reference not to the substance or source of issues facing the General Assembly but to the voting patterns they elicit. Thus, the commitment to and leadership for General Assembly action on self-determination (and the principles of friendly relations) comes from the South, not East; the dominant voting pattern pits a tactically created coalition of South and East against the West. For the conventional view that self-determination is a North-South issue, sec Claude, pp. 54–56.

52 One way to begin such a revision would be to examine the relationship between general principles of international law and what are alternatively described as “essential rules of conduct,” “rules of the game,” or “rules of the system,” in some system analyses. See Kaplan, in Falk and Black, pp. 157–163; Young, , A Systemic Approach to International Politics, pp. 33 and 47–48; and Robinson, Thomas W., “Systems Theory and the Communist System,” International Studies Quarterly, 121969 (Vol. 13, No. 4), pp. 417–420.

1 American University School of International Service, Washington. Research for this study was supported in part by the Institute of World Polity, Georgetown University, Washington.

Nicholas Onuf (born 1941) is an American scholar. Onuf is currently Professor Emeritus of International Relations at Florida International University and is on the editorial boards of International Political Sociology, Cooperation and Conflict, and Contexto Internacional. He is one of the primary figures among constructivists in international relations.[1]


His best known contribution to constructivism is set out in World of Our Making (University of South Carolina Press, 1989). His approach is based on a continuum of performative language, rules and rule. Three types of speech act (instructive, hierarchichal, commissive) yield corresponding types of rule that, in turn, yield three types of rule (hegemony, hierarchy, heteronomy). Compliance with rules helps sustain rule, but failure to abide by them erodes rule. Rule, generally through institutionalized means, has distributive effects in political society (domestic or international), granting privileged access to material and symbolic resources to some agents over others.

One novelty of this approach is to go beyond the 'anarchy problematique' in IR (Richard Ashley's term). Instead of different types of anarchy (as in Alexander Wendt's Hobbesian, Lockean, and Kantian anarchichal settings), Onuf presents hegemony, hierarchy, and heteronomy as different structures of domination in world affairs (i.e. the absence of world government does not necessarily imply anarchy). These structures are respectively enabled by the repetition over time of behavior consistent with instructive, hierarchichal, and commissive rules by agents.

Instructive rules constitute reality: if one person utters the locution 'country X has moral superiority in world affairs', another person accepts it (illocution), and many other people act accordingly (perlocution), reality will have been constituted by this speech act. This may be converted into a number of instructive rules, which in turn, if followed over time, create, for instance, cultural hegemony. Hierarchichal rules work likewise but have to do with social relations based on force. Cold War spheres of influence are a classical example of their deployment in world affairs. Commissive rules create obligations for agents that would otherwise not exist: when an agent utters the locution 'I promise to make tariff cuts', such a statement can only exist in and through language and may be converted into a general rule. Such rules limit the agent's autonomy, resulting in a heteronomous structure of domination such as that found in the core-periphery setting of the world economy as expounded by Dependency Theory.

Selected works[edit]

Onuf further developed and refined the ideas set out in World in a series of chapters in edited volumes:

  • "A Constructivist Manifesto" in Burch & Denemark, eds., Constituting Political Economy (Lynne Rienner, 1997)
  • "Constructivism: A User's Manual" in Kubálková, et al. eds., International Relations in a Constructed World (M.E. Sharpe, 1998)
  • "Worlds of Our Own Making: The Strange Career of Constructivism" in Puchala, ed., Visions of International Relations (University of South Carolina Press, 2002)
  • "Parsing Personal Identity" in Debrix, ed., Language Agency and Politics in a Constructed World (M.E. Sharpe, 2002).


External links[edit]

  1. ^Robert Jackson and Georg Sørensen (2010). Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches, 4th Edition. Oxford University Press. p. 166. ISBN 0-19-954884-6.  

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