This course examines the legal rules and institutions that govern and
influence world politics, as well as analyzing the politics of
international law. International law today is more complex and more
interesting than at any time in history. The current conflicts in Syria,
against Isis, and between China and other states over the Spratly and
Senkaku-Diayuo islands involve many areas of international law that we
will cover, including the laws of war; war crimes and tribunals; the UN
Charter; and the law of the sea. Over the course of the semester we
- the basic principles of the international legal system
major forms of international law: treaty and custom, as well as "soft
law" the role and influence of international organizations and nonstate
- the foreign relations law of the U.S., such as treaty
law, the commander-in-chief power, and the constitutional role of the
Senate in foreign affairs.
- the international legal rules that govern trade, human rights, the use of force, and war crimes
- the nature of international law itself, including questions of compliance, effectiveness, and enforcement.