International legal theories - WikipediaInternational legal theory comprises a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches used to explain and analyse the content, formation and effectiveness of public international law and institutions and to suggest improvements. Some approaches center on the question of compliance: why states follow international norms in the absence of a coercive power that ensures compliance. Other approaches focus on the problem of the formation of international rules: why states voluntarily adopt international legal norms, that limit their freedom of action, in the absence of a world legislature. Other perspectives are policy oriented; they elaborate theoretical frameworks and instruments to criticize the existing rules and make suggestions on how to improve them. Some of these approaches are based on domestic legal theory , others are interdisciplinary , while others have been developed expressly to analyse international law. Many early international legal theorists were concerned with axiomatic truths thought to be reposed in natural law. Hugo Grotius , a Dutch theologian , humanist and jurist played a key role in the development of modern international law.
International Relations and International Law
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International law is a set of rules intended to bind states in their relationships with each other. It is largely designed to apply to states, both to constrain the laws of war and to empower them law of sovereignty. Increasingly, international law has been codified, so that today most international obligations are contained in treaty form, although historically customary international law played a relatively more important role than it does today. The role of international law in informing foreign policy decision making has waxed and waned over the course of the past century. It has also varied significantly across countries.
This book contains original essays by eighteen of the world's leading scholars and practitioners of international relations and international law. Together they address the highly topical question of the role that international law plays in international politics at the turn of the century.
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