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

See all articles by Ian Hurd

Ian Hurd

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: July 13, 2015

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Hurd, Ian, What is the International Rule of Law? (July 13, 2015). The Global Context: How Politics, Investment and Institutions Impact European Businesses. Edited by Javier Solana and Angel Saz-Carranza, ESADE Barcelona. Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2648265

Ian Hurd (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science ( email )

601 University Place (Scott Hall)
Evanston, IL 60201
United States

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