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Why has the United States taken such a firm stance against the International Criminal Court (ICC) and expended such diplomatic goodwill in an attempt to dismantle a tribunal that poses no serious risk to its citizens? This book critiques causal ideologies such as American exceptionalism, state sovereignty and laissez-faire capitalism to show how U.S. opposition is driven by pervasive political, legal, historic, military and economic conditioning factors. It shows how U.S. attitudes transcend partisan politics and predicts how the U.S.-ICC relationship will be affected by the economic crisis, shifting international geopolitical power structures, the crisis in the U.S. military, unfolding international human rights law and the “politics of change” promised by the nascent Obama administration.
“The United States has been at the centre of international criminal justice initiatives, from Nuremberg to the more recent ad hoc tribunals for the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Lebanon. But its position has been lukewarm and sometimes, in the darkest days of the Bush administration, outright hostile to the International Criminal Court. Filling a gap in the literature, Dr Mark Kielsgard reviews the history of American policy, analysing the factors that have driven it, making useful and practical suggestions aimed at greater engagement of the United States with the International Criminal Court.” Professor William A. Schabas