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The emergence of transnational social movements as major actors in international politics - as witnessed in Seattle in 1999 and elsewhere - has sent shockwaves through the international system. Many questions have arisen about the legitimacy, coherence and efficiency of the international order in the light of the challenges posed by social movements. This ground-breaking book offers a fundamental critique of twentieth-century international law from the perspective of Third World social movements - the first ever to do so. It examines in detail the growth of two key components of modern international law - international institutions and human rights - in the context of changing historical patterns of Third World resistance. Using a historical and interdisciplinary approach, Rajagopal presents compelling evidence challenging current debates on the evolution of norms and institutions, the meaning and nature of the Third World as well as the political economy of its involvement in the international system.