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Political Science Research on International Law: The State of the Field

104 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011 Last revised: 26 Aug 2011

Emilie Marie Hafner-Burton

UCSD School of Global Policy and Strategy

David G. Victor

UC San Diego, School of Global Policy and Strategy

Yonatan Lupu

George Washington University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: August 23, 2011

Abstract

The discipline of political science has developed an active research program on international institutions. Among its top ranks are scholars who study the development, operation, spread and impact of international legal doctrine and organizations – also matters of great interest to the legal community. Meanwhile, a growing number of public international lawyers have developed an interest in political science research and methods. For more than two decades there have been calls and frameworks for international lawyers and political scientists to collaborate. Some prominent collaborations are under way – sharing research methods and insights. Yet the two fields are still notable for their distance. This essay offers a fresh survey of what political science has learned that may be of special interest to international lawyers. More than 20 years have passed since the last large essay of this type. During that interim the field of political science has made substantial progress in some areas and also shifted its focus to new questions. For lawyers who are not familiar with political science scholarship, our aim is to introduce some of the basic concepts and methods that could contribute to their own research. For the growing number of legal scholars already engaged with research in political science and the other social sciences our aim is to offer a roadmap to political science research that might not yet be apparent and suggest some areas where collaboration is likely to be especially fruitful.

Keywords: International Relations, International Law

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Hafner-Burton, Emilie Marie and Victor, David G. and Lupu, Yonatan, Political Science Research on International Law: The State of the Field (August 23, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1764082 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1764082

Emilie Marie Hafner-Burton (Contact Author)

UCSD School of Global Policy and Strategy ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

HOME PAGE: http://gps.ucsd.edu/ehafner/

David G. Victor

UC San Diego, School of Global Policy and Strategy ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

Yonatan Lupu

George Washington University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Washington, DC 20052
United States

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