Modern International Law: An Introduction to the Law of Nations

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9780130170439: Modern International Law: An Introduction to the Law of Nations

Citing both theory and case law, this book focuses on the political dynamics involved in contemporary international law. It describes the importance of international law from the perspective of the rights of states, reciprocity among governments, and collaborative efforts to achieve stability and peace. And, by interweaving traditional subjects (e.g., statehood and sovereignty) with discussions of contemporary topics (e.g., human rights and the law of the sea), it reveals the emerging transition to a new style of international politics--an interdependent international system based on law and organization. Law of Nations. Law and the International System. International Law within the State. Subjects of International Law. Recognition of States and Governments. State Responsibility. Human Rights. Citizenship. Jurisdiction. Dispute Resolution. Territory. Law of the Sea. International Agreements. Diplomacy. Prospects. For those interested in the political aspects of international law.

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As we sit on the precipice of new alliances and new ways of doing international business, this timely book focuses on the political dynamics involved in contemporary international law. It weaves the issues of statehood and sovereignty into discussions of human rights and the law of the sea to reveal an emerging transition to a new style of interdependent international politics. --David Marshall Nissman, J.D.

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In the fall of 1998 an acquaintance with Prentice-Hall visited and inquired about my writing schedule. As we talked, the idea evolved that I might write a textbook in my primary field of interest—public international law. In over two decades of teaching the subject at two universities I had often wondered why I did not write a textbook. Colleagues have been kind enough to encourage me, and students offered their support. I soon found, however, that the project was like climbing a mountain. What began as a relatively straightforward endeavor soon proved to be a most demanding task. Now one understands why there are comparatively few textbooks in the field; the material is sometimes overwhelming. I have responded by trying to identify themes and developing these against a background of historical and legal examples. International law reflects the emergence of a post-Westphalian system based less on realpolitik and the balance of power and more on collaborative efforts to cope with such problems as political violence, environmental decay, and transnational criminality which threaten the existence of a world order. The discussion begins in the traditional mode with the international legal theories of John Marshall and John Austin and evolves into an analysis of an interdependent international system based on law and organization. Transition to a new style of international politics is the theme.

James Wolfe
Hattiesburg, Mississippi

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