Reagan's Law & Foriegn Policy: Reagan Corollary to International Law
George Mason University - School of Public Policy
August 6, 2008
Harvard International Law Journal, 1988
The unilateralism of the Reagan Administration's foreign policy has influenced its treatment of international law. Just as it has rejected international cooperation in many instances in favor of unilateral pursuit of perceived national interests, the Reagan Administration has also attempted to mold international law to accommodate those interests. I would call this challenge to the international legal system the "Reagan Corollary" of international law.
The Reagan Corollary is not merely a careless disregard for international law. On the contrary, it is an attempt to pressure the international legal system into changing in a manner beneficial to United States interests. In order to realize such change, the Reagan Administration has proffered new rules of international law, relied on previous versions of existing rules, and reinterpreted existing rules and treaties by applying them in unprecedented contexts. The common threads connecting these practices are the assertion of unilateral state action and a broad right of self-defense, less reliance on international institutions such as the United Nations, and an emphasis on a state's right to pursue its national interests.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 15Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: August 7, 2008
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo1 in 2.515 seconds