Liberal Theories of International Law

December 2012
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on International Law and International Relations: The State of the Art, ed. Jeffrey Dunoff and Mark Pollack; Cambridge University Press

The first section of this chapter ("Liberal Theories of International Relations") elaborates the assumptions and conclusions of liberal international relations theory. Section II ("What Can Liberal Theories Tell Us about International Law-Making?") develops liberal insights into the substantive scope and depth of international law, its institutional form, compliance, and long-term dynamic processes of evolution and change. Section III ("International Tribunals: Liberal Analysis and Its Critics") examines the specific case of international tribunals, which has been a particular focus of liberal theorizing, and treats both conservative and constructivist criticisms of liberal theory. Section IV ("Liberalism as Normative Theory") considers the contribution of liberal theory to policy, as well as to conceptual and normative analyses of international law.