Institutional Proliferation and the International Legal Order
Dunoff and Pollack, eds, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on International Law and International Relations: The State of the Art, Cambridge, 2012
51 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2012
Date Written: August 4, 2012
Since the cataclysm of World War II, the international order has grown increasingly institutionalized. Hundreds of international organizations and tens of thousands of treaties now exist, many with widespread – and in some cases nearly universal – membership. Compared to earlier eras, the international system today is far more densely populated by rules and institutions. This forthcoming chapter explores institutional density, the conflict and competition such density inevitably creates in an anarchical system of states, and the different ways international lawyers and political scientists address these issues. Is a dense international order a significant problem, a welcome development, or a largely superficial phenomenon? Is density an inadvertent outgrowth of intensifying interdependence, or a deliberate strategy? How does density vary – by issue area, over time, and across regions? These questions represent important lines of thinking that are either under way or incipient in the growing literature on institutional density.
Part I (“The Rise of Institutional Density”) looks at the empirics of institutional density. Part II (“Density: Two Optics”) surveys the emerging scholarship in law and political science. Part III (“The Debate Over Density”) explores some fundamental questions at the heart of this emerging research field. Part IV concludes.
Keywords: international orders, institutional density
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation