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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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International Relations Theory and International Law: A Critical Approach

ISBN13: 9780521133463
Published: October 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £22.99

Despatched in 7 to 9 days.

International law is playing an increasingly important role in international politics.

However, international relations theorists have thus far failed to conceptualise adequately the role that law plays in politics. Instead, IR theorists have tended to operate with a limited conception of law. An understanding of jurisprudence and legal methodology is a crucial step towards achieving a better account of international law in IR theory. But many of the flaws in IR's idea of law stem also from the theoretical foundations of constructivism – the school of thought which engages most frequently with law. Adriana Sinclair rehabilitates IR theory's understanding of law, using cases studies from American, English and international law to critically examine contemporary constructivist approaches to IR and show how a gap in their understanding of law has led to inadequate theorisation.

  • Helps international relations theorists understand international law and the effects of legalistic ways of thinking
  • Analyses the re-emergence of torture and explores the possibility of normative backsliding in constructivist IR theory, providing theorists with a new perspective on constructivism
  • Strengthens the capacity of constructivism and IR to explain the role law plays in international politics by providing IR theorists with relevant knowledge

1. The theoretical foundations of constructivism and its treatment of law
2. Challenging the common sense idea of law
3. Introducing critical jurisprudence
4. Brown, desegregation and racism in America: the myth and reality of law's ability to solve complex social problems
5. Constructing rape: defining the problem and finding the solution
6. Law and normative backsliding: torture since 9/11