Saturday, July 18, 2020

Pollack: International Relations Theory and International Courts and Tribunals

Mark A. Pollack (Temple Univ. - Political Science) has posted International Relations Theory and International Courts and Tribunals. Here's the abstract:
International relations (IR) scholars in political science have historically paid little attention to international courts and tribunals, which were seen through the prevailing realist lens as being of little or no importance in global politics. In recent decades, however, IR scholars have taken up the study of international courts, applying a distinctive set of theoretical lenses to questions about the design, behavior, and independence, and viability of these courts. The aim of this paper is to examine the four core traditions of IR theory as applied to ICTs, and to identify the value-added insights as well as the lacunae of this research. The paper first explores four great traditions in international relations theorizing about international adjudication, focusing in turn on realism, institutionalism, liberalism, and constructivism. Building on this theoretical basis, it identifies four substantive, value-added contributions of political science to the study of international adjudication, which I organize under the rubrics of institutional design, the behavior of litigants, judicial behavior and independence, and the dynamic evolution of international adjudication systems over time, including both positive feedbacks and progressive development as well as negative feedbacks and backlash. A brief final section concludes.