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  • The First Issue of the HSE University Journal of International Law Is Out Now

The First Issue of the HSE University Journal of International Law Is Out Now

The First Issue of the HSE University Journal of International Law Is Out Now

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On June 23, 2023, the first issue was published on the journal’s webpage under the heading ‘Mission Upward’. The journal is published online in Russian and English. In honour of this landmark event for the journal, we talked with its Chief Editor, Vera Rusinova.

Vera Rusinova

— How did the journal get started?

— A year ago, Daria Boklan and I were thinking about what to do in the new geopolitical environment. We came to the conclusion that we needed to launch an online journal in Russian and English. This idea, however, would have never been realised without the full support of Vadim Vinogradov, Dean of the Faculty of Law, and Alexander Larichev, Deputy Dean for Research. We are also sincerely grateful to all members of the editorial board. Nine authors boldly submitted their articles to a journal that had just come into existence.

— Who else is in your team?

— The form in which readers will see the articles is a great credit to our reviewers. Some of the reviews and responses to them, in terms of their content and volume, could be independent articles, and only the strict rules of double-blind peer review kept us from publishing cutting scientific polemics. I also want to express my sincere gratitude to the editorial staff: Ekaterina Zakharova and Ekaterina Martynova. They are the two ‘wings’ of our journal, and its rise is the result of their tireless work and enthusiasm.

— What inspired the journal’s artistic logo?

— We chose a fragment of Wassily Kandinsky’s painting ‘Upward’ as the logo for the HSE University Journal of International Law. Many people know that this great artist was a lawyer by education, and he was offered the chance to start an academic career. Besides, paintings by Kandinsky adorn many of the premises of the Faculty of Law. However, that was hardly the deciding factor. The fact is that the editors’ approach both to understanding the essence of international law itself and to comprehending the processes taking place within it closely echoes the ideas that were embodied by Kandinsky in the language of fine art and in the texts of his theoretical works.

— What is unique about the new journal?

— From the very first issue, the journal seeks to declare that it is different from other periodicals on international law.

Firstly, it is based on the understanding that the tasks faced by the modern science of international public law cannot be solved solely through the analysis of international norms and are associated with the need to expand our research methodology. It is the recognition of the plurality of modern scientific theories and methodology that serves as a basis for the journal’s content. The article by Alexander Evseev, written at the intersection of international law and criminology, is a vivid example of this.

Secondly, the journal postulates openness to critical research as its starting point. It is no coincidence that Maxim Likhachev analyses the ‘politics of international personality’ in the opening article of the first issue.

Thirdly, it is important that the journal has a moral compass. What values ​​lie beneath norms, institutions, relationships, processes, practices, and actors? An important question is what motivates the author themselves? In one of his works contemplating art, Kandinsky quotes the composer Robert Schumann: ‘The artist’s vocation is to send light into the depths of the human heart.’

Having united the intellectual efforts of the team of authors, reviewers, and editors, the journal began to fulfil its mission from the very first issue: to develop a stereoscopic view of the norms, processes, and actors that form modern international legal relations based on a pluralistic picture of scientific theories and methodology of modern international law. Let this path lead us—like Kandinsky’s painting—up!

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