Imagining the International: Crime, Justice and Community on the Global Stage

Recent decades have witnessed the internationalisation of crime and criminal justice. There are now international crimes and international courts and a common conception that certain events of harm and suffering are of global concern. Certain offences are conceptualised as crimes against humanity as a whole and international criminal tribunals have been established to dispense justice on behalf and in the name of a global community. The internationalisation of crime and justice is thus both a practical and a discursive project, involving the development of international laws and courts, but also the imagination of distinctly international forms of crime and harm that offend against and implicate an internationalised constituency.

It is in this historical context that my current project charts and interrogates the nature, effects and significance of the contemporary internationalisation of crime and justice. I seek to, firstly, examine how certain crimes and forms of justice are figured as distinctly international; secondly, tease out the effects of dominant approaches (what global subjectivities, relations and geographies they enable and foreclose); and, thirdly, consider the significance of the contemporary internationalisation of crime, justice and suffering. This paper will give an overview of my project and its theoretical and methodological contours.

Nesam McMillan is a Lecturer in Global Criminology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on international crime and justice from an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing upon critical international criminology, critical humanitarianism, socio-legal studies and critical international criminal law. She is also a Chief Investigator on the Minutes of Evidence ARC Linkage Project (see link here).