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When International Law Works stands to change the way states and scholars look at this contentious topic. In this seminal work, Professor Tai-Heng Cheng addresses the current international law debates and transcends them.
Responding to influential statements on international law by such scholars as Goldsmith, Posner, O'Connell, and Guzman, Cheng presents a new framework that decisionmakers should consider when they confront an international problem that implicates the often competing policies and interests of their own communities and global order.
Instead of advocating for or against international law as legitimate or binding, as many commentators do, Cheng adknowledges both its shortcomings while presenting a practical means of deciding whether compliance in a given circumstance is beneficial, moral, or necessary. In this manner Cheng shows how it is possible for decisionmakers to take international law and its limitations seriously without actually needing to determine whether or not international law is "law."
To demonstrate how his new proposal for approaching international law would work in a real crisis, Cheng provides numerous case studies from contemporary history that test his theory. Ranging topically from the current global economic crisis to the West's war on Islamist terrorism, these detailed and demonstrative case studies set this book apart from similar works of international legal scholarship. By combining theory with practice,
When International Law Works gives lawyers, judges, policymakers, academics and students 'real world' guidance on how to face new global problems. In doing so, this new book challenges readers to rethink the role of law in an increasingly crisis-driven world.