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LWPS 406 International Law

Prerequisites: PSCI 215 or LWPS 230 or PSCI 307 or permission of the instructor. (Second semester—odd years/3 credits) 

International law commonly is defined as the rules, principles, and norms which govern the interaction among states. Many scholars of international relations view international law as a meaningful tool for providing order to world politics and for minimizing global conflict. Other scholars of international relations dismiss international law as insignificant. According to these scholars, state interests-- not internationally agreed-upon rules, principles, and norms--guide interaction among states. In this course, we will investigate the basic question underlying this debate over the utility of international law: does international law act as a constraint on state autonomy, or is it merely used by states when it is in their self-interest? Finally, we will examine the influence of global civil society, multinational corporations, and other non-state actors in the development and application of international law.