Rein Müllerson

Rein Müllerson is an Estonian legal scholar and professor of law. Since 2009 he has been dean of the Tallinn University Faculty of Law, prior to which he was Professor of Law at King’s College, London. He graduated from Moscow State University in 1976 and became a Doctor of Law in 1985. From 1978-1987 he lectured at Moscow State University. In 1991/1922 he was deputy foreign minister of Estonia. From 1988-1992 Müllerson was a member of the UN Human Rights Committee and has worked as the UN Regional Adviser for Central Asia. His new book Central Asia: A Chessboard and Player in the New Great Game will be published in autumn 2010.


Reckless military interventions in other countries’ affairs are becoming the norm globally. So what hope for international law? After all, argues Rein Müllerson, when it comes to bending and breaching international law, Russia has no lack of excellent examples to follow.

Is China more democratic than Russia?

There's more than one road to the promised land

Russia might be more democratic but China is better governed

Comparing China and Russia in terms of their conformity to western liberal-democratic standards shows the inadequacy of such a general yardstick, writes Rein Müllerson in his response to Ivan Krastev. What really matters is rule of law and good governance.

The revival of neo-Kantian theories of universal peace has led to intellectual justification of foreign “interventions” whose results have nothing to do with democracy. Evidence suggests that democracy does not precede peace but vice versa and that, even were it possible to implement, a global democratic order would not necessarily be more peaceable, writes Rein Müllerson.

“Triumphant historical unidirectionality is not only simplistic, it may also be extremely dangerous.” Rein Müllerson critiques both classical Marxism and free-market capitalism, with their faith in ineluctable progress, at the same time asking how far universal claims for social justice are reconcilable with the multipolar global system.

As China’s star rises, attitudes to the new global superpower range from fearful to hopeful. Are we looking at the end of the world as we have known it, or will the Middle Kingdom redefine the market economy and democracy in its own image? A distinguished Estonian academic argues the toss.

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