Thomas D. Grant

Publications & commentary

Aggression against Ukraine: Territory, Responsibility, and International Law


Aggression against Ukraine marks a stunning shift. Ever since 1945 it had been understood that the borders of States must not be the object of forcible change by other States. However, Russia has now revived long-buried historical claims—and prosecutes them by dint of arms. The annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and the subsequent armed incursions in eastern Ukraine under color of separatist movements in Donetsk and Luhansk challenge not just one State's territorial integrity, but jeopardize the general settlement on which international law for almost three generations has rested. This is the settlement which enabled human rights and modern institutions of international law to flourish. Russia's domestic rejection of human rights and its new geopolitics of territorial seizure in this light should be seen not in isolation but as connected developments—and as a challenge to international law and global public order at large.
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“The Russian invasion of Ukraine needs to be understood in its full dimension as a challenge to the state system of respect for borders. Grant provides that important service in his timely book.” George P. Shultz, former Secretary of State of the United States
“This is an extremely welcomed guide, historically grounded and convincingly reasoned, to a turning point in international relations and international law.” Timothy Snyder, Bird White Housum Professor of History, Yale University, USA
“[Grant's book] presents a comprehensive argument and will doubtless be an essential reference for all persons treating the subject of Russia's aggression in Ukraine in the future. Lucid and convincing…” William H. Taft IV, former Legal Adviser of the Department of State of the United States
“Grant deploys his substantial knowledge of international law, particularly its rules on territory, secession, and self-determination, to unpack and critique the various arguments for and against Russia's case… In doing so, Grant highlights the significance of these events to international law more generally, emphasizing the tensions it creates within a UN system that has served as the centerpiece for inter-state relations since 1945.” Duncan Hollis, James E. Beasley Professor of Law, Temple University School of Law, USA
“… a painstaking examination of the issues involved and a passionate statement of international law against the annexationist law of the jungle.” Brendan Simms, Professor of the History of International Relations, University of Cambridge, UK


Author: Thomas D. Grant
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Date: June 2015
320 pages
ISBN: 9781137514639
Buy from: [palgrave.com], or [amazon.com]