Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Megiddo: The U.S. Approach to International Law: A View from Below

Tamar Megiddo (Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem - Law) has posted The U.S. Approach to International Law: A View from Below. Here's the abstract:

Despite its central contribution to the construction of the global legal order, the United States has long been perceived to exclude itself from its reach. Its exceptionalist image has been reinforced by statements of political leaders, federal law provisions and court decisions. This article argues, however, that in order to appropriately assess a state’s approach to international law, one must consider not only the position of its formal government, but also the interpretation, application, and challenge of international law by sub-state actors.

Studying a U.S. policy-making process initiated pursuant to a World Trade Organization ruling, the article surveys interventions by government officials, consumers, producers and civil society organizations. It shows, contrary to the exceptionalist image, that U.S. actors of all stripes invoked and relied on international law extensively, thereby carving a space for it as a non-negligible consideration in the process. The article thus submits that accounting for non-state stakeholders is imperative in evaluating the regard for international law in a state and possibly also the domestic impact of international law.