This year, the 10,000 CHF SNIS Award for the best thesis in international relations was attributed ex-aequo. One of the theses was “Collective Non-State Entities in International Law”, authored by Klara Polackova van der Ploeg.

PhD thesis defended at the Graduate Institute of International Studies under the supervision of Prof. Andrea Bianchi

This thesis examines the adaptations of international law to a globalized environment by exploring the direct regulation of collective non-state entities in binding international law. Through an examination of practice in multiple areas of international law (including the law of peace and security, law of the sea, international investment law, international humanitarian law, and international human rights law) and from the theoretical perspective of international law’s dynamic nature, the thesis challenges the continuing default conceptualization of binding international law as inter-state law, as well as the view of binding international law being principally inapplicable to collective non-state entities. The thesis not only intervenes in theoretical debates on the contemporary transformations of international legal ordering, but also aims to impact legal practice and policy, which currently struggle with effective regulation of collective non-state entities’ conduct.