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FSU INR 2002 - CHAPTER 11: INTERNATIONAL LAW AND NORMS

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CHAPTER 11: INTERNATIONAL LAW AND NORMSWhat is international law?International law is a body of rules that binds states and other agents in world politics in their relations with one another and is considered to have the status of lawPrimary unifying concept is sovereigntyLaw is defined as a set of both primary and secondary rulesPrimary- negative and positive injunctions regulating behaviorSecondary- address rule making itself and specify the powers and processesThe body of rules is what separates law from normsHow does international law get made?Two primary mechanism for making international lawCustomary international law is international law that usually develops slowly, over time, as states recognize practices as appropriate and correctDiplomatic immunity, freedom of the seas, etc.Custom or accepted practiceContemporarily is being codified in international agreementsInternational treatiesIs it all the same?Law varies in obligation, or the degree to which agents are legally bound by a ruleHigh-obligation rules must be performed in good faith and if breeched require reparations to injured partyLaw differs in its precisionHow specific are the obligations states incurMore precise laws narrow the scope for reasonable interpretationLaw varies in its degree of delegation to third partiesThe degree to which 3rd parties, such as courts, arbitrators, or mediators, are give authority to implement, interpret, and apply international legal rulesThese 3 dimensions can be put into a single continuum of hard and soft lawDoes it matter?States typically comply with it and when they don’t its because the law itself is imprecise or because they lack the capacity to fulfill its obligationsTwo main problems existLaw is seldom precise enough to deal with every possible interaction between actorsLaw is the product of states interests and interactionEnforcement is dependent on the principle of national self-helpSome law also creates compliance constituencies within states that have interests in ensuring that their governments follow the rulesWhat are international norms?Norms are the standards of behavior defined in terms of rights obligations, and as such are informal international institutionsMay be codified in both hard and soft lawNorms as institutions can be can exist and be respected by members of a communityExample: taboo on WMDThree broad categories of normsConstitutive norms define who is legitimate or appropriate actor under what circumstances.SovereigntyNational self-determinationProcedural norms define how decisions involving multiple actors should get madeRegulative norms govern the behavior of actors in their interactions with other actorsNo country has used WMD since WWIINorms are often difficult to identifyMost easily observed when they are violatedHow are they created?For an idea to become a norm, the standard of behavior it specifies must be accepted as morally right and appropriate by a sufficiently large proportion of any given populationSome principles become norms because of their inherent goodnessNorms typically begin with individuals or groups who seek to advance a principled standard of behavior for states/actorsNorms entrepreneursThey typically form TANs (transnational advocacy networks), which are a set of individuals and NGOs acting in pursuit of a normative objectiveConstituent actors may include:NGOsLocal social movementsFoundations and other philanthropic organizationsThe mediaChurches, trade unions, civil organizationsPromote norms to alter interests and change interactions at the individual and state levelsAlso change how actors conceive of their interests by promoting new moral valuesNorms life cycle is a 3-stage model of how norms diffuse within a population and achieve a “taken-for-granted” statusDo they matter?Constrain states and other actors in 2 ways: by redefining interests and by changing their interactionsIn the boomerang model, NGOs in one state are able to activate transnational linkages to bring pressure from other states on their own governmentsBeyond norms: TANs and international cooperationLegislators and voters can learn whether to support or oppose an agreement from TANsThey are often perceived as principled actors with strongly held normative beliefsTANs can also monitor whether and how states comply with international law and other agreements as well as international actorsIs the state obsolete?World politics has traditionally conceived states as the dominant actorsTraditionalists argue that states remain the dominant actorsInternational law is at best a soft constraintGlobalists argue that international law and transnational networks are emerging as effective forms of global governanceAuthority is being mitigated to supranational authoritiesUnder globalization, international law becomes increasingly necessary to cope with political problemsYet it still remains state-centricGrowth of law and TANs is changing the pattern of state interactionCHAPTER 12: HUMAN RIGHTSWhat are international human rights?Human rights are rights that all individuals possess by virtue of being human, regardless of their status as citizens of particular states or members of a group or organizationThe universal declaration of human rights (UDHR), adopted by the UN in ’48, defines a ‘common standard of achievement for all peoples’ and forms the foundation of modern human rights lawInternational Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)Details the basic rights of individuals and nationsInternational Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)Specifies basic economic, social, and cultural rights of individuals and nationsAll of these are often referred to as the International Bill of RightsWhy are they controversial?Domestic institutions have different interests than HRStates have interest in preserving their own sovereigntyHave origins in Western liberal philosophyBacklash from Eastern culturesHave not been internalized in all states and culturesAre some rights more important than others?Nonderogable rights are rights that cannot be suspended for any reason, including at times of public emergencyFreedom from torture, recognition as a person before the law, and freedom of thought, religionIndividuals imprisoned solely for their beliefs are called prisoners of conscienceAmnesty international makes it its mission to defend these rightsIHR remain a work in progressAn object of political struggleWhy do states violate HRs?Some arise from


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