The Political Economy of International Law
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The Political Economy of International Law

A European Perspective

Edited by Alberta Fabbricotti

Set in the context of growing interdisciplinarity in legal research, The Political Economy of International Law: A European Perspective provides a much-needed systematic and coherent review of the interactions between Political Economy and International Law. The book reflects the need felt by international lawyers to open their traditional frontiers to insights from other disciplines - and political economy in particular. The methodological approach of the book is to take the traditional list of topics for a general treatise of international law, and to systematically incorporate insights from political economy to each.
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Chapter 18: Political Economy and International Law: Paradoxes and Potential

Eyal Benvenisti and Jan Wouters


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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