Non-State Actors in International Law, Politics and Governance Series

Series editor: Math Noortmann, Oxford Brookes University, UK

  • The proliferation of non-state actors in the international system over the last three decades has increased the need for a broader theoretical analysis and empirical validation. The series explores the capabilities and impact of non-state actors, such as privately-based transnational corporations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international criminal organizations, and liberation movements, as well as intergovernmental organizations (in which NGO’s often participate). The series seeks to address this need and to deepen the knowledge and understanding of non-state actors by scholars, practitioners and students in the fields of international law, politics and governance. By emphasizing legal, political and governance aspects of non-state actors’ activities at the international (global or regional) level, the series intends to transcend traditional disciplinary and organizational boundaries.
  • For more information on how to submit a book proposal to the series, please contact Rob Sorsby, at
  • About the series editor: Professor Math Noortmann, Oxford Brookes University, UK.
    •  Math Noortmann
      Math Noortmann
  • Series Advisory Board:
    Professor Dr Bas Arts, Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), The Netherlands
    Professor Barry Axford, Oxford Brookes University, UK
    Professor Heidi Dahles, Griffith University, Australia
    Dr Juliette Koning, Oxford Brookes University, UK
    Professor Charlotte Ku, University of Illinois, USA
    Professor Cedric Ryngardt, Leuven University and University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • General editor, Math Noortmann explains his engagement with non-state actors:
    Non-state actors did not feature very prominently in the subjects that I studied at the university. State centered approaches dominated the curricula of international law and international relations, and governance had not captured the global realm yet. After graduation I learned quickly that the world did not revolve around the state. Participating in the democratic and environmental reconstruction of Central and Eastern Europe, it was impossible to ignore the numbers of transnational non-governmental organizations that were shaping national and international policies; transnational corporations were extending their business at the costs of the environment, local communities linked up with partner communities abroad, and research institutes and religious institutions poured in in search of funding and souls. We were working in the state, but with non-state actors. Non-state actors are here to stay and are here to shape our life-worlds; for better or for worst. Terrorists and pirates, private military/security companies, armed opposition groups, extraction and logging industries trigger our academic and societal senses.

    Including those non-state actors in my researches adds a dimension of complexity that I aspire in an effort to understand the dynamics of my globalizing life-world, and to bring that critical, non-mainstream dimension to the debates in international law, international relations and governance in an effort to extend that understanding to the students of the state.