Chapter 18: Political Economy and International Law: Paradoxes and Potential
This Book breaks new ground in that its chapters look consistently through the lenses of Political Economy (PE) at a wide set of International Law (IL) issues: from sources to enforcement and various substantive areas, such as trade agreements, investment law, water law, human rights and migration law issues. The chapters unravel the dimensions of PE behind the most diverse issues, like benefit sharing in water law, the strategies used by judges when identifying customary norms, the non-written waiver which facilitates regional trade agreements, and the problem of many hands in the law of international responsibility. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, the authors have followed their own methodologies in considering PE as their object of study. Some of them are enthusiastic about the insights which PE offers to the study of IL; others are downright skeptical. The ‘holistic model of State behavior’ advanced by Anne van Aaken and Joel Trachtman has inspired some authors, while other contributors do not hide their criticism. A veritably pluralistic volume! The unifying strength of this colorful bouquet of essays is that they have all been written by the most seasoned and highly regarded scholars – we would almost be tempted to say: ‘the most highly qualified publicists’ within the meaning of Article 38(1)(d) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice – in their areas of expertise.
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