The Politics of International Law

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Overview

Politics and law appear deeply entwined in contemporary international relations. Yet existing perspectives struggle to understand the complex interplay between these aspects of international life. In this volume, a group of leading international relations scholars and legal theorists advance a new constructivist perspective on the politics of international law. They reconceive politics as a field of human action that stands at the intersection of issues of identity, purpose, ethics, and strategy, and define law as an historically contingent institutional expression of such politics. They explain how liberal politics has conditioned modern international law and how law 'feeds back' to constitute international relations and world politics. This new perspective on the politics of international law is illustrated through detailed case-studies of the use of force, climate change, landmines, migrant rights, the International Criminal Court, the Kosovo bombing campaign, international financial institutions, and global governance.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'… this is a superb volume that makes an important contribution to the study of both International Relations and international law. It contains a skilful blend of theoretical innovation and high-quality empiricism and is sure to become standard reading in a range of different settings. In no small part because of this book it is likely that we will see a proliferation of university courses on the 'politics of international law' and the continued flourishing of research and debate on this important issue.' International Affairs

'… The Politics of International Law [] has something to offer to both practitioners and theoreticians of international law: a new perspective on the functioning of politics, a richer understanding of the function of law in international society, and a more sophisticated approach to some of the foundational concepts of the international legal system.' Wouter G. Werner, Leiden journal of International Law

'… has something to offer to both practitioners and theoreticians of international law …' Leiden Journal of International Law

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Christian Reus-Smit is a Senior Fellow and Head of the Department of International Relations in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the Australian National University. He is author of American Power and World Order (2004), The Moral Purpose of the State (1999) and co-author of Theories of International Relations (2001).
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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 The politics of international law 14
3 When states use armed force 45
4 Soft law, hard politics, and the climate change treaty 80
5 Emerging customary norms and anti-personnel landmines 106
6 International law, politics, and migrant rights 131
7 The international criminal court 151
8 The Kosovo bombing campaign 189
9 International financial institutions 217
10 Law, politics, and international governance 238
11 Society, power, and ethics 272
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