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  • Cited by 48
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
March 2021
Print publication year:
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Book description

Marketing Global Justice is a critical study of efforts to 'sell' global justice. The book offers a new reading of the rise of international criminal law as the dominant institutional expression of global justice, linking it to the rise of branding. The political economy analysis employed highlights that a global elite benefit from marketised global justice whilst those who tend to be the 'faces' of global injustice - particularly victims of conflict - are instrumentalised and ultimately commodified. The book is an invitation to critically consider the predominance of market values in global justice, suggesting an 'occupying' of global justice as an avenue for drawing out social values.


‘Branding and marketing may seem foreign to ethics and justice. But as Christine Schwöbel-Patel shows in this wonderful study, there is no way to understand the contemporary era without examining their relations. In her fascinating and wide-ranging exploration, she convincingly brings out how particular and selective recent initiatives in ‘global justice’ have been, with special emphasis on our neoliberal practices of international criminal law. After this bracing and disturbing investigation, our study of idealism must begin in acknowledgment of how it has been occupied in our time - but also how other strategies might liberate it for a different future.’

Samuel Moyn - Yale University

‘This is a path-breaking analysis of international criminal justice and the winds of the market that have shaped its substance and style; indeed, this book powerfully illustrates the intertwined lives of substance and style in the legal and institutional order for international justice. With intellectual rigor and originality this book connects the dots between international law and neoliberal analysis, between branding strategies and anti-impunity campaigns, between aesthetics and human rights, between profit and the genealogy of morals in the international public sphere. In tracking the winners and losers of this era of marketized international justice, the book also situates these developments in the material legacies of colonialism, and a world order that reproduces injustice even when it promises justice. An extraordinarily engaging and insightful book - heterodox international law scholarship at its best!’

Vasuki Nesiah - Professor of Human Rights and International Law at The Gallatin School, New York University, co-Founder of Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL)

‘Christina Schwöbel-Patel has written Naomi Klein’s No Logo for the field and practice of International Criminal Law. Her brilliant book shows how campaigns against genocide, atrocity and impunity in the 1990s were not just topics of widespread discussion but opportunities for branding, professional advancement, and even personal enrichment. Her account helpfully moves the debate from the lofty abstractions of moral decision into the mechanics of how cases were made and sold, populations were mobilized and often caricatured, and market imperatives tethered to those of humanitarian rescue.  It is a scathing critique and a sobering read that will help us to stake out terrain for global justice anew.’

Quinn Slobodian - Author of Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism 

‘As states and scholars alike are debating whether international criminal law has been 'oversold',  Christine Schwöbel-Patel asks another, much more politically important and jurisprudentially generative question: how and why did we come to think of an entire legal field and even of global justice in terms of 'selling', 'branding' and 'investment'? Drawing from critical legal and marketing studies, this indispensable book reveals novel and unexamined dimensions of the profound, and profoundly destructive, influence of neoliberalism on international law. Those interested both in international criminal law and in law and political economy more broadly will do well to take note.’

Ntina Tzouvala - Senior Lecturer, ANU College of Law

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