Defined by custom and treaty, and now increasingly embodied in charters, regulations, and resolutions of international organizations, does the existence of international law point to progress in humankind's capacity for moral conduct? Or does the lack of a discernible ethical foundation in either law or political action make progress impossible to define?
In Law and Moral Action in World Politics, the authors -- activists and scholars of international law and international relations -- pose these questions in new ways. Some adhere to a progressive reading of the law; others adopt a critical stance. Topics included the function and historical evolution of the law; the cultural and intellectual assumptions of influential legal texts; and the experiences of legal activists in using law to pursue moral ends, including the rights of indigenous people and the protection of international law itself.
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Lynch-Asst Prof of Political Science, Univ of California, Irvine
Michael Loriaux is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University. He studies European unification from the perspectives of political economy and critical theory. His books include France After Hegemony: International Change and Financial Reform (Cornell University Press, 1991) and Capital Ungoverned (co-authored, Cornell University Press, 1997). European Union and the Deconstruction of the Rhineland Frontier won the Charles Taylor Prize for best book of political interpretation. Professor Loriaux's current book project is entitled 'European Union and the Aesthetics of Power'.
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