Six Academic Moments to Take With into 2015

Jaanika Erne |

Looking back to the year of 2014, I guess that the most important academic events for me in addition to the possibility to participate in the conference on Freedom of Expression at the University of Helsinki on 8-9 May, and the CBEES Annual conference “Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe: A new generation on the move” at Södertörn University on 4-5 December, were publication of one of my book reviews: “Arvustus: Euroopa ja Hiina pehme tasakaalustumine Ida-Aasia ning Ameerika Ühendriikide suhtes. Nicola Casarini.  Remaking  Global Order: The Evolution of Europe-China Relations and its Implications for East Asia and the United States. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. (Oxford Scholarship Online). 344 pp” in Estonian scientific journal Akadeemia No 5, 2014, in the Estonian language (while my book review about Cold War in East Asia has still remained unpublished), and three presentations at the Estonian Social Scientists’ IXth Conference (Eesti Sotsiaalteadlaste Aastakonverents – ESAK) on 25 and 26 April at the University of Tartu.

Follow the English Abstracts of my presentations at the Estonian Social Scientists’ IXth Conference: Poliitikase võistleva investeerimise teooria Euroopa tasandil (The Investment Theory of Party Competition at European Level) (25 April); Poliitilise diskursuse analüüs rahvusvahelise õiguse uurimismeetodina. Võitlus globaalse ülivõimu pärast ja polaarsus rahvusvahelises õiguslikus argumentatsioonis (Political Discourse Analysis – A Method for International Law Research. Contest for Global Superpower and Polarity in International Legal Argument) (25 April); Inimõiguste diskursiivne rahvusvahelistumine (Discursive Internationalization of Human Rights) (26 April).

The English and Estonian Abstracts and texts are downloadable at and the Estonian Abstracts at

Political Discourse Analysis – A Method for International Law Research. Contest for Global Superpower and Polarity in International Legal Argument (Poliitilise diskursuse analüüs rahvusvahelise õiguse uurimismeetodina. Võitlus globaalse ülivõimu pärast ja polaarsus rahvusvahelises õiguslikus argumentatsioonis)English Abstract: The presentation constitutes an apology for use of political discourse analysis – which is a research method of international relations – as a method for international law research, demonstrating that as internationalization is determined by hegemonic struggle, legal arguments that are even indirectly related to international law usually contain politics and may contain also political contest/opposition. The European Union (EU) is also an actor in a multipolar/multispeed World – the World that has developed from the colonial period into the era of postmodern imperialism, and law has changed and changes in accordance with changes in governing ideologies and politics. That way, the today’s EU is in its daily action influenced by the main topics of geopolitics and Great Games – the EU and Russia, the EU and China, the EU and Islamic States, the EU and Africa, the EU and East-Asia, the EU and Central Asia generally, the EU and Latin-America – politically the EU is also connected with such historical developments as outgrowth of the British imperialism of the US strategy of imperialism, the Russian Empire, post-Communist rebalance of power, status of Israel and the NATO’s collective defence in the imperialism project, pursuit of the BRICS-States for superpower, MINT, Eurasia as source of energy and power – consequently not only the politicians should ask whether the EU is one of the pursuers for superpower sui generis or part of someone’s imperialism project?, Who is leading Europe?, and Whose leadership is supported by his/her daily activity as an official or citizen?  The theoretical basis of this research has most been influenced by Martti Koskenniemi, Jan Klabbers, Isabela and Norman Fairclough, Edward Schiappa, Eric Walberg, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Rein Müllerson, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, Nicola Casarini, etc. Empirically have been analysed institutional acts and case law.  For fulfilment of apologetical aim, while the presentation first reminds of the World’s historical developments, the topics of postmodern imperialism, geopolitics and Great Games are linked with the topics of morals, politics, individual and society, structural limits, and political struggle; and reminded is also the intrinsically human attempt to find a leader in every community (incl. the World community) who is unable to correspond to everyone’s moral preferences, which is the reason for the hegemonic universality remaining utopia.  The presentation demonstrates the idea of polarity related to the post World War I developments, for example, as known from the Cold War era bipolar opposition between the East and the West, in Europe, in Asia generally, in post-colonial South-Eastern Asia, South-Asia, Middle East, Latin-America, and Africa, as well as inner polarity in internal and international institutions (for example, in the UN Security Council). The presentation demonstrates the presence of (bi)polarity also in international legal acts, examples have been chosen from institutional practice generally (for example, political decisions, direct and indirect decisions related to foreign investment, private sector governance, party competition, economic decisions, security, development aid) and more strictly from international case law argument (for example, the International Court of Justice – Temple of Preah Vihear, Legality of Use of Force, Lockerbie, Aerial Incident; the European Court of Justice – Bosphorus, Bankovic, Bronze Soldier; the Court of Justice of the EU – Yusuf, Kadi).  The presentation tries to offer a model for political discourse analysis for international case law research hoping that the use of the method of political discourse analysis for international law research may give more possibilities for the best decision in the condition of differentiated integration and multi-level interaction. The presentation bases on research conducted mostly in 2010 for advancement of the course OIAO.07.052 “Protection of Human Rights under EU Law” at the University of Tartu, and research conducted in 2012 for the course HOL6025 “External Relations of the EU” at the faculty of Social Sciences of the Tallinn University of Technology.  Keywords: political discourse analysis; international legal argument; methodology

● Poliitikasse võistleva investeerimise teooria Euroopa tasandil (The Investment Theory of Party Competition at European Level)  English Abstract: Within a State, the political parties control State power, whereas the political parties operating at European level control supranational power. That way, the political parties at European level shape politics and consequently is important to know the basis of their action.  The presentation explains the concept of political party operating at European level, views such Europarties comparatively to political parties of the EU Member States and political representation in the European Parliament, distinguishes them from political foundation at European level, and briefly explains the legal basis of Europarties’ action. An overview is given of functioning of Europarties, Estonia’s representation in them, and finally the topics are viewed through the prism of Thomas Ferguson’s investment theory of party competition.  The initial conclusions are that the political parties at European Level have grown out of the European countries’ historically formed political parties and their dynamics, similarly to national political parties the Europarties can be generally divided into rightist, centrist and leftist parties. It is also possible to distinguish between liberals, radicals, social democrats and conservatives — according to Hagopian’s general classification of ideologies, although the name of several Europarties clearly demonstrates their relying on different basic ideologies.  The system of political parties at European level can be named mutliparty system.  One can find several characteristic features of a catch-all party within the system – pluralism, information society and other features characterizing postmodernism. In the integrated Europe of today, the political parties at European level reflect besides all-European political spectrum also the ideological spectrum of Europe – religions, green ideologies, national ideologies, attitude towards minorities (the Roma and other national groups), racism, resistance movements, other ideological tensions – and shape the all-European public opinion through different media channels.  Because of the large number of members, the characteristic features of a mass party can be found in the system, whereas the citizens have the possibility of following and influencing the work of the political parties through global networks (e.g. the Internet).  At the same time, the functions of Europarties should not be assessed from the viewpoint of reflecting European pluralist landscape but also from the viewpoint of organization of elections and shaping politics — although the Members of the European Parliament are presented and elected by the citizens of the EU Member States, the Europarties participate in organizing electoral campaigns, work of the European Parliament and EU institutions, the roots of the latters’ proceedings reach to the EU Member States’ political parties who are members of Europarties and who present the candidates to the European Parliament as well as State representatives to the EU institutions, while at the same time allegations have been made about growing politicization of even the European Security and Defence Policy, and therefore questions have been posed about who finances and determines European politics, and whether the EU might loose its leadership position in deciding its own political matters due to the possible capital flows from Third States.  The presentation introduces the underlying of the 26 January 2011 discussion by the Constitutional Affairs Committee of the European Parliament of the new rules on funding EU political parties and foundations documents and research concerning the aims and legal basis of action (e.g. registration, financial accountability) of political parties, problematic aspects of multi-level party system and elimination of possible dangers.  The presentation bases on research conducted for the course RIO 7007 European Union Law at the Institute of Political Science and Governance of Tallinn University.)  Keywords: Europarties, multi-level party system, party competition, competition of politics

● Inimõiguste diskursiivne rahvusvahelistumine (Discursive Internationalization of Human Rights)  English Abstract: Defining human rights frequently begins with existential quest for their raison d’être, which question is frequently answered so that human rights are needed in order to recognize the natural dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all human beings. Such response may in turn create questions why recognize human nature, values and rights, and, for example, Marek Piechowiak has answered to such questions that human nature, values and rights should be recognized for the reason that these constitute the basis of freedom, justice and peace. But if we think more deeply – do we really know what all those concepts actually mean? Human rights are called universal for the reason that they are connected with human dignity, nevertheless rather the variety of political systems than cultural differences make us doubt and ask whether human rights as universal (international) rights were already there since the beginning of the history of Mankind or have different political systems shaped understandings of human rights?  Scientists research topics of relative universality or universal relativity of human rights and politicization of human rights. According to Asbjørn Eide it is possible to distinguish between at least three stages in development of human rights – idealization, positivization and realization, of which stages positivization and realization are related with existence of legal system(s).  The presentation analyses human rights and their development conceptually and comparatively. First comes the attempt to define human rights, distinguishing between human rights, fundamental rights and values, strsesing human rights’ developmental specifics – development from idea to right. Secondly, the presentation comparatively analyses development of European human rights system in historical-cultural and global-political context. Examples of discursive realization of human rights are brought from decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and Court of Justice of the European Union.  The presentation bases on the author’s Master Theses defended at the University of Tartu in 2004 and research connected with working out and conduct of the course OIAO.07.052 Protection of Human Rights under EU Law, at the University of Tartu in the years of 2004–2011.