The Perils of Global Legalism

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-10-01
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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The first months of the Obama administration have led to expectations, both in the United States and abroad, that in the coming years America will increasingly promote the international rule of lawa position that many believe is both ethically necessary and in the nation's best interests. WithThe Perils of Global Legalism, Eric A. Posner explains that such views demonstrate a dangerously naive tendency toward legalisman idealistic belief that law can be effective even in the absence of legitimate institutions of governance. After tracing the historical roots of the concept, Posner carefully lays out the many illusionssuch as universalism, sovereign equality, and the possibility of disinterested judgment by politically unaccountable officialson which the legalistic view is founded. Drawing on such examples as NATO's invasion of Serbia, attempts to ban the use of land mines, and the free-trade provisions of the WTO, Posner demonstrates throughout that the weaknesses of international law confound legalist ambitionsand that whatever their professed commitments, all nations stand ready to dispense with international agreements when it suits their short- or long-term interests. Provocative and sure to be controversial,The Perils of Global Legalismwill serve as a wake-up call for those who view global legalism as a panaceaand a reminder that international relations in a brutal world allow no room for illusions.

Author Biography

Eric A. Posner is the Kirkland and Ellis Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Terror in the Balance: Security, Liberty, and the Courts, and The Limits of International Law.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Global Legalism
The Utopian Impulse in International Relationsp. 3
The Flaws of Global Legalismp. 28
Defending Global Legalismp. 40
Globalization, Fragmentation, and the Lawp. 80
Global Legalism and Domestic Lawp. 100
Adjudication in Anarchy
International Adjudicationp. 130
The Fragmentation of International Justicep. 150
Human Rights and International Criminal Lawp. 175
International Law in Domestic Courtsp. 207
Conclusion America versus Europep. 226
Notesp. 229
Indexp. 263
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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