Book Review: Global Lawmakers: International Organizations in the Crafting of World Markets

8 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2019 Last revised: 21 Oct 2019

Date Written: January 22, 2019


Susan Block-Lieb and Terence Halliday gradually build up an empirically grounded, meticulously realized argument that individual lawmakers matter. When one allows facts to inform theory rather than the other way around, the authors show, what becomes clear is that individual lawmakers are not just governmental delegates, but a whole variety of professionals, industry association representatives, and others with some stake in the lawmaking process. These actors work not just through formal processes, but also through an array of informal ones. Most importantly, their presence matters to the content of the legal norms that take hold around the world.

The book thus carves a new place among a very small universe of empirically grounded analyses of international lawmaking, and an even smaller universe of accounts that focus on individual actors. It organizes these observations through the lens of social ecology theory, which, though unfamiliar to international legal theory, offers fascinating purchase on the question of how actors develop international legal orders. The book also contributes the first in-depth empirical analysis of the lawmaking work of the little-studied United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.

Keywords: UNCITRAL, International Trade Law, International Law, Private International Law, Insolvency, Transportation, Secured Transactions, Social Ecology Theory, International Lawmaking, NGOs, Non-Governmental Actors, International Organizations, Industry Associations, Corporations, Transnational Legal Orde

JEL Classification: F10, F13, F23, F42, F53, F60

Suggested Citation

Durkee, Melissa (MJ), Book Review: Global Lawmakers: International Organizations in the Crafting of World Markets (January 22, 2019). 113 Am. J. Int'l L. 422 (2019), University of Georgia School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-09, Dean Rusk International Center Research Paper No. 2019-04, Available at SSRN:

Melissa (MJ) Durkee (Contact Author)

Washington University School of Law ( email )

One Brookings Drive
MSC 1120-250-258
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States

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