What is the International Rule of Law?
The Global Context: How Politics, Investment and Institutions Impact European Businesses. Edited by Javier Solana and Angel Saz-Carranza, ESADE Barcelona. Forthcoming
6 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2015 Last revised: 2 Sep 2015
Date Written: July 13, 2015
The rule of law is widely cited as a desirable model for international politics, with inherent progressive tendencies and a self-evident meaning. However the concept itself is rarely defined. I examine the concept, as a theory and a practice, and find ambiguities and contradictions that undermine its common appeal. This is important because international legality is often used as a legitimating discourse for political power, and unstated disagreements about the meaning of the international rule of law can impede conversations about substantive political issues.
Keywords: international law, international politics, European Union, legal theory, global constitutionalism
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