Treaties are agreements between sovereign states, and occasionally between states and international organizations. Treaties can include conventions, covenants, charters, and statutes, all of which are legally binding under international law. There are two main types of treaties: bilateral and multilateral. Bilateral agreements are concluded by a limited number of states (usually two), and typically address a narrow set of issues that are unique to specific parties and particular circumstances. Multilateral treaties, on the other hand, establish generalized principles of conduct that apply to a wide range of states without regard to the future particularistic interests of the parties or the strategic exigencies that may exist in a particular occurrence. Treaties can serve a wide variety of functions: ending wars and establishing conditions for peace; creating new international organizations or alliances; generating new rules of coexistence and cooperation; regulating a particular type of behavior; distributing resources; and initiating new rights and obligations for future relations. No single organization or agency has the authority to enforce treaty commitment. Rather, treaties can be enforced in at least two ways. First, states can use diplomatic, economic, and/or military coercion. Second, some treaties establish their own enforcement mechanisms; for example Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter grants enforcement authority to the Security Council.
James F. Hollifield
Migration is linked to various dimensions of politics: the procedural or distributional dimension (who gets what, when, and how), the legal or statist dimension (which involves issues of sovereignty and legitimacy), and the ethical or normative dimension (which deals with questions of citizenship, civil society, justice, and participation). The key concept surrounding migration and politics is one of interest. According to Gary Freeman, the demand for immigration policy is heavily dependent on the play of organized interests. An alternative to Freeman’s explanation is the historical-institutional approach, also known as the “liberal state” thesis, which contends that, irrespective of economic cycles, the play of interests, and shifts in public opinion, immigrants and foreigners have acquired rights. Therefore, the capacity of liberal states to control immigration is constrained by laws and institutions. The extension of rights to non-nationals has been an extremely important part of the story of international migration in the post-World War II period. In an age of increasing globalization, the pace of migration accelerated and created the so-called liberal paradox, perfectly illustrated by the difficulty of using guest workers for managing labor markets in Western Europe. International migration is likely to intensify in coming decades. There are several challenges that immigration scholars need to address, such as devising a framework that will allow us to understand the relationship between the politics of immigration control and the politics of integration.
Genocide is described as the most extreme form of crime against humanity; Winston Churchill even called it the “crime with no name.” The word “genocide” was coined by Raphael Lemkin, a Polish lawyer who embarked on a mission to persuade the international community to accept genocide as an international crime under international law. In 1946, the first session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring genocide as a crime under international law. This resolution became the basis for the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, introduced in 1948. However, it would take another fifty years before the Genocide Convention would establish an International Criminal Court that would prosecute international war criminals. In the 1990s, special ad hoc tribunals were created for Yugoslavia and Rwanda to deal with international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. In reaction to the failure of the international community to deal with genocide in Rwanda, a great deal of emphasis has been placed on the norm of “the Responsibility to Protect.” The Genocide Convention was tested in the case brought by Bosnia and Herzegovina against Serbia (originally Serbia and Montenegro) in 1993. It was the first time in history that a sovereign state was placed on trial for the commission of genocide. The implications and ramifications of the International Court of Justice’s ruling that the Serbian government did not commit genocide in Bosnia became a subject of considerable debate among legal scholars.
Robert J. Beck
International Law (IL) is the set of rules generally regarded and accepted as binding in relations between states and between nations. It serves as a framework for the practice of stable and organized international relations (IR). International law differs from state-based legal systems in that it is primarily applicable to countries rather than to private citizens. National law may become international law when treaties delegate national jurisdiction to supranational tribunals such as the European Court of Human Rights or the International Criminal Court. The immense body that makes up international law encompasses a piecemeal collection of international customs; agreements; treaties; accords, charters, legal precedents of the International Court of Justice (aka World Court); and more. Without a unique governing, enforcing entity, international law is a largely voluntary endeavor, wherein the power of enforcement only exists when the parties consent to adhere to and abide by an agreement. This is where IR come about; it attempts to explain behavior that occurs across the boundaries of states, the broader relationships of which such behavior is a part, and the institutions (private, state, nongovernmental, and intergovernmental) that oversee those interactions. Explanations can also be found in the relationships between and among the participants, in the intergovernmental arrangements among states, in the activities of multinational corporations, or in the distribution of power and control in the world as a single system.
The research on comparative immigration policy is relatively recent, with the earliest dealing with significant immigrant inflows into Western Europe after World War II. Because of the difficulties in finding empirically grounded measures of immigration policy, the literature has grown primarily by adding to the theoretical literature. In terms of the immigration control literature, nativism (anti-immigrant preferences) has been complemented by approaches that include attention to the economic consequences of immigration, focus on how societal preferences are channeled, and focus on state national interest and state security. In terms of the immigrant integration literature, there has been a tendency to classify the immigrant reception environment of states according to historical nation building features of the state and to types of “immigration regimes.” More recently, in recognition of the static nature of these models of policy making, scholars have disaggregated integration policy into its component parts and incorporated aspects of politics that change over time. The research arena is, in short, theoretically rich, though both dimensions of research on immigration policy suffer from two flaws. The first is the inability to compare effectively policies across countries. The second is the research focus on Western Europe and advanced industrial countries, to the neglect of the remaining countries in the world.
Robert J. Beck and Henry F. Carey
The international law (IL) course offers a unique opportunity for students to engage in classroom debate on crucial topics ranging from the genocide in Darfur, the Israeli–Palestinian issue, or peace processes in Sri Lanka. A well-designed IL course can help students to appreciate their own preconceptions and biases and to develop a more nuanced and critical sense of legality. During the Cold War, IL became increasingly marginalized as a result of the perceived failure of international institutions to avert World War II and the concurrent ascent of realism as IR’s predominant theoretical paradigm. Over the past two decades, however, as IL’s profile has soared considerably, political scientists and students have taken a renewed interest in the subject. Today, IL teaching/study remains popular in law schools. As a general practice, most instructors of IL, both in law schools or undergraduate institutions, begin their course designs by selecting readings on basic legal concepts and principles. Once the basic subject matter and associated reading assignments have been determined, instructors typically move on to develop their syllabi, which may cover a variety of topics such as interdisciplinary methods, IL theory, cultural relativism, formality vs informality, identity politics, law and economics/public choice, feminism, legal realism, and reformism/modernism. There are several innovative approaches for teaching IL, including moot courts, debates, simulations, clinical learning, internships, legal research training, and technology-enhanced teaching. Another important component of IL courses is assessment of learning outcomes, and a typical approach is to administer end-of-semester essay-based examinations.
The “International Law of the Sea,” or simply “Law of the Sea,” is a body of legal norms that regulate the use of the seas and to delineate the powers and jurisdiction of States over various parts of the seas. The evolution of the Law of the Sea can be divided into three different eras: the seventeenth-century great debate over open v. closed seas, era of codification, and era of institutionalization. The debate between early scholars over the issue of whether the sea was open to all and subject to the freedom of the seas (mare liberum or open seas) or whether the seas could be subject to sovereignty by States (mare clausum or closed seas) became the generally accepted basis for contemporary law of the sea. The era of codification saw the convening of three United Nations Conferences on the Law of the Sea—UNCLOS I, UNCLOS II, and UNCLOS III. The Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC), held in 1982, initiated an era of the institutionalization of the law of the sea. Today, the international community appears to be leaning towards closed seas, but there are also indications that cooperative arrangements amongst parties on the law of the sea will be more prevalent. An example of such initiative is the 1995 Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks.
Peter J. Jacques
The World Ocean, the interconnected system of oceans and major seas on Earth, is the basis for climate stability, the hydrological cycle, and many aspects of biological diversity. It provides a wide range of benefits, from serving as a principal sink for carbon dioxide, one of the key greenhouse gases driving anthropogenic climate change, to being a source of subsistence, trade, revenue, jobs, cultural meaning, and recreation. However, the World Ocean is vulnerable to human-induced impacts. Indeed, a substantial amount of the World Ocean has experienced major disturbances, especially in fisheries. The key regulation and politics of marine fisheries and pollution can be divided into three distinct phases, corresponding to three eras in the history and politics of the World Ocean: precolonial era, colonial era, and industrial era. These eras are associated with distinct modes of production and use of the ocean: small coastal precolonial artisanal production, colonial expansion under mare liberum or “freedom of the seas,” and the era of contemporary globalization starting with the Law of the Sea. International fisheries regulatory bodies have shown extreme concern regarding overfishing, but not much for larger ecosystem concerns such as climate change. In addition, international fishing regulation has consistently and regularly suffered from the so-called “regulatory overfishing.” In the case of ocean pollution, three important regulatory regimes that emerged at about the same time are the 1972 Oslo Convention, the 1972 London Dumping Convention, and the 1974 Paris Convention.
Kendall W. Stiles
International organizations (IOs) of the most distinct kinds and characteristics have effectively modified the structure of international law. For more than six decades, IOs have echoed the aspirations of humankind in pursuit of the ideal of realization of justice, and have furthermore given their contribution to that end. IOs are provided with privileges and immunities that are intended to ensure their independent and effective functioning. They are specified in the treaties that give rise to the organization, which are normally supplemented by further multinational agreements and national regulations under the international law. Rather than by national jurisdiction, legal accountability is intended to be ensured by legal mechanisms that are internal to the IO itself and access to administrative tribunals. In the course of many court cases where private parties tried to pursue claims against IOs, there has been a gradual realization that alternate means of dispute settlement are required, as states have fundamental human rights obligations to provide plaintiffs with access to court in view of their right to a fair trial. Otherwise, the organizations’ immunities may be put in question in national and international courts. Ultimately, international law binds IOs to the same degree that it binds states. This means that IOs, like states, are not bound by treaties without their consent, with some very narrow exceptions that apply to states and IOs alike.
B. Welling Hall
The notion of “responsibility to protect” (R2P) emerged as a legal challenge to what F. R. Teson calls “the moral and legal enclosure of states.” The development of the R2P doctrine coincided with the surge in popularity of the democratic peace thesis, according to which the creation of a security community rests not on the existence of a common enemy, but on the “positive shared foundation of democracy and cooperation.” The R2P doctrine was developed by international lawyers in response to the failure of the international community to prevent or react effectively enough to the commission of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing in Rwanda, Bosnia, Haiti, and elsewhere during the last decade of the twentieth century and the first of the twenty-first century. Some scholars of international law argue that R2P reconceptualizes sovereignty as a legal construct and expands the international toolkit for the peaceful prevention of deadly conflict. The International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) report, The Responsibility to Protect, lays emphasis on military intervention as a key component of R2P. Others, however, claim that R2P simply provides new, legal justifications for the use of force. International law scholarship on R2P is overwhelmingly dedicated to the question of when and how R2P might be invoked to support military intervention (jus ad bellum) and the relationship between R2P and international criminal tribunals (jus post bellum). One area that deserves attention from scholars is a “law instead of war” or jus non bello.