Business for humanity? The rise of entrepreneurial international organizations

  • Datum: –19.00
  • Plats: Fakultetsrummet, Juridiska fakulteten, Trädgårdsgatan 1, Uppsala
  • Arrangör: SIFIR (Svenska institutet för internationell rätt) and Uppsala Forum
  • Kontaktperson: Inger Österdahl
  • Föreläsning

During the past few decades, international organizations have increasingly started to engage in entrepreneurial market activities and to adopt practices and mindsets from the private sector. In so doing, they have challenged some of the commonly held assumptions of the international organizations law, such as the ideas that international organizations mainly perform technical tasks delegated to them by their member states, and that they do so in the public interest. This paper introduces some of the market activities of international organizations and analyses the historical, material, and ideological context in which the ‘entrepreneurial turn’ has occurred. It also sketches some of the ways in which the turn poses a challenge to the international organizations law.

Ukri Soirila is an assistant professor in international law at the University of Helsinki. In his previous work, including in his monograph ‘The Law of Humanity Project: A Story of International Law Reform and State-Making’ (Hart 2021), he has analyzed international law, human rights, and humanitarianism from a critical perspective. Currently, he is working on a monograph on the market activities of international organizations as part of Jan Klabbers’s ERC funded research project ‘Intergovernmental Organizations between Mission and Market’ (PRIVIGO).