"How Not to Do Things with International Law"

Michigan Law Authors
Publish Date
Ethics & International Affairs
Publication Type
Journal Article

In his recent book, Ian Hurd argues that international law is pervasive and foundational in international affairs and that the international rule of law is hegemonic over states. While the book is provocative and compelling, it fails to convince on two core points. First, Hurd does not offer a real alternative to international relations realism. Indeed, the book could unwittingly reinforce the realist stance that international law is simply power politics in disguise. Second, the book offers a problematic conception of international rule of law. What Hurd describes is at best a rule by law, or perhaps more appropriately qualified as a travesty of the rule of law.

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