The recently published Non-State Actors and International Law, edited byAndrea Bianchi, professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute, as part of the "Library of Essays in International Law" series, is a key exercise in efforts to refocus the theoretical debate on non-State actors.
The book consists of a collection of 18 carefully-selected articles written by scholars and experts in international law from 1970 to the present. It explores crucial features of non-State actors in international law theory; participation by non-State actors in international legal processes and standard setting; and the question of their accountability. In addition to editing the collection, Professor Andrea Bianchi has also contributed a substantive introduction, “Relativizing the Subjects or Subjectivizing the Actors: Is That the Question?”, in which he takes up the main conceptual challenges related to the subject.
The book is not an exercise in defining non-State actors. Indeed, in his introduction Professor Bianchi acknowledges that the range is so vast as to include academic circles and scientists. However, the selected articles do focus on non-governmental organisations, transnational corporations, individuals and armed groups to see how they participate in shaping or enforcing international law. For instance, the treatment includes an examination of NGOs that campaign on human rights violations, influence the drafting of international conventions (e.g., the Convention on the Rights of the Child), and participate in international as well as domestic judicial proceedings. Other articles examine transnational corporations whose operations straddle several international borders. The question of their accountability is explored against the background of State responsibility and other, less formal, mechanisms of accountability under international and national law.
Crucially, the articles question the traditionally held view of States as the sole subjects of international law. The logic of making States the subject of international law was to avoid bestowing legitimacy and undue status on non-State actors thereby undermining the authority of States. A question, which underpins much of the discussion in this volume, concerns whether the political struggle for inclusion as legitimate participants in the legal process, can be convincingly accommodated in the traditional international law framework or whether new paradigms are needed.
The inquiry presented throughout this volume is vital for a sound understanding of the factors and ideologies underpinning the debate on non-State entities. This is especially important at a time when philosophical battles surrounding interpretation of international law are waged alongside debates about what international law is for and how it is made. Indeed, as Professor Bianchi writes at the end of his introduction: "The challenge is to inquire afresh about the ‘Subject’, not so much in the narrow context of this edited volume, but in the much broader framework of inquiry of ‘who or what it is that thinks or produces law' ".
The "Library of Essays in International Law" is designed to provide the essential elements for the understanding of contemporary issues of international law. By asking eminent scholars to edit volumes containing essays of central importance in the development of international law in a variety of subject areas, the series makes available an extensive range of materials in a manner that is of great value for both teaching and research.

Introduction: relativizing the subjects or subjectivizing the actors: is that the question?
Part I - Non-State Actors in the Theory of International Law: The subjects of international law, Hersch Lauterpacht; Critical reflections on the Westphalian assumptions of international law and organization: a crisis of legitimacy, A. Claire Cutler; (I can't get no) recognition: subjects doctrine and the emergence of non-state actors, Jan Klabbers; The emergence of non-governmental organizations and transnational enterprises in international law and the changing role of the state, Daniel Thürer; Paul Ricoeur and international law: beyond the end of the subject, Janne E. Nijman.
Part II - The Empirical Approach: Selected Non-State Actors: The individual and the international legal system, Robert McCorquodale; Nongovernmental organizations and international law, Steve Charnovitz; The invisible college of international lawyers, Oscar Schachter.
Part III - Participation by Non-State Actors in International Legal Processes: Law Making: NGOs, the International Criminal Court and the politics of writing international law, Michael J. Struett; The Ottawa Convention banning landmines, the role of international non-governmental organizations and the idea of international civil society, Kenneth Anderson; Law Adjudication: The amicis curiae before international courts and tribunals, Lance Bartholomeusz; Law Enforcement: The environmental accountability of the World Bank to non-state actors: insights from the inspection panel, Alix Gowlland Gualtieri; Globalization of human rights: the role of non-state actors, Andrea Bianchi.
Part IV - Non-State Actors' Accountability: the Quest for New Paradigms: The changing international legal framework for dealing with non-state actors, August Reinisch; Punishment of non-state actors in non-international armed conflict, William A. Schabas; Torture committed by non-state actors: the developing jurisprudence from the ad hoc tribunals, Jill Marshall; Responsibility beyond borders: state responsibility for extraterritorial violations by corporations of international human rights law, Robert McCorquodale and Penelope Simons; Overcoming NGO accountability concerns in international governance, Erik B. Bluemel
Name index.

Andrea BIANCHI (ed.), Non-State Actors and International Law, Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2009 (634 pp.)
Professor Andrea BIANCHI is a professor of international law in the International Law Unit of the Graduate Institute. The International Law Unit is a high level and diverse academic community that is strongly engaged in the issues of theory, policy and practice that arise in international law and relations today. Professor Bianchi brings to the unit a wide range of expertise including in international law theory and methodology, international terrorism, the use of force, international humanitarian law and human rights. From 2005 to 2008 he was Co-Director of the University Forum of the Academic Society of Geneva, devoted to the theme of "Democracy and Terrorism".