The chimera of global legalism

October 22, 2009
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Bloggingheads.tv has posted an interesting interview with Eric A. Posner, author of The Perils of Global Legalism. In the interview Posner and host Henry Farrell discuss a variety of issues related to the topic of Posner’s new book which offers a provocative argument against the establishment of an international rule of law. Watch the complete interview below or navigate to Bloggingheads.tv.
With The Perils of Global Legalism, Eric A. Posner contends that advocates of global legalism demonstrate a dangerously naive belief that law can be effective even in the absence of legitimate institutions of governance. After tracing the historical roots of the concept, Posner carefully lays out the many illusions—such as universalism, sovereign equality, and the possibility of disinterested judgment by politically unaccountable officials—on which the legalistic view is founded. Drawing on such examples as NATO’s invasion of Serbia, attempts to ban the use of land mines, and the free-trade provisions of the WTO, Posner demonstrates throughout that the weaknesses of international law confound legalist ambitions—and that whatever their professed commitments, all nations stand ready to dispense with international agreements when it suits their short- or long-term interests.

To find out more read an excerpt from the book.

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