The Politics of International Law | Newberry

The Politics of International Law

Thursday, February 26, 2015

9:30 am to 12:30 pm

Dr. Ian Hurd, Northwestern University
Newberry Teachers' Consortium

Aerial drones, humanitarian intervention, cyber attacks, torture. The big debates in world politics today are entangled with international law and with controversy over what is legal and what is not. Governments and activists are deeply concerned with the legality of their and others’ behavior: they explain how their actions fit into the rules; they point out the failures to comply on the part of their adversaries; they work hard in negotiations to produce laws that suit their interests and with which they expect to comply. This seminar examines the connections between international law and international politics. Through examples from recent international disputes, it considers how law is used to legitimate the actions of governments (Iraq 2003), how political disputes become ‘judicialized’ (the whaling case 2014), and the construction of new legal resources (US drones policy). More generally, we will consider how the idea of the ‘rule of law’ changes as it moves from a domestic setting to international politics.

Cost and Registration Information 

Registration for all Newberry Teachers’ Consortium seminars opens September 4, 2014.

For NTC registration information, please contact Charlotte Ross at