What is international Law? Who determines its content? Why do sovereign states willingly bind themselves under its rules? Is it a tool of the powerful, or a safeguard against exploitation? In short, does international law matter? This course draws on primary source materials (cases and treaties) and scholarly articles to examine the processes of international law as seen from the perspective of politically motivated actors. Readings examine broad theoretical issues pertaining to international law as well as the functioning of international legal regimes in specific issue areas such as trade, human rights, and the environment. Students apply political science methodologies in an attempt to understand and explain the behavior of states and non-state actors as they engage in a competition to create, enforce, and resist international law. Students should have a familiarity with international relations theory and social science methodologies prior to taking the course.
Prerequisites: PG 103.