Frontiers of Law, Political Science and Art

Sanctioning versus instrumentalisation: United States, worldwide law and world legislative issues


Aallotar Helen

International law institutionalises norms, behaviour expectations and obligations for state and nonstate international actors, regulates their behaviour, and offers some justice to victims of state and nonstate actions and processes. It creates a semblance of international realm of law-abiding actors. This law, however, is affected by the United States’ (US) dominant position: the US uses informal channels to manipulate international law and subject other states to this law without the US itself being equally subjected to the law; dominates international institutions as embodiments of international law; and internationalises its domestic law. This article argues that much as law regulates state behaviour in international affairs, it remains an instrument of world politics serving state interests of those capable of manipulating and/or eluding it, simultaneously sustaining a semblance of universal legality, a reason why the US’s retreat from international law is justified by disguised reference to US constitution, independence and sovereignty.


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