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The Global Challenge to Public International Law: Some First Thoughts

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that while international lawyers should not react defensively, one should be even more careful not to sacrifice the central position of the State in international law too readily as it is the prime locus of democracy and the rule of law. Globalization challenges the central position of the State in the world's political and legal order in two different ways. First, globalization enhances the role of non-State actors on the international scenery, from individual human beings to non-governmental organizations and global corporations, and stimulates the rise of a body of transnational law outside the confines of public international law. Second, the growing interdependency of the world and the global challenges mankind faces jeopardize the relevance of States, even the biggest ones, as vehicles for attaining the aspirations of people and peoples.

Keywords: democracy; global challenges; globalization; international lawyers; legal order; public international law; transnational law



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