How Not to Do Things with International Law

| December 2018
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How to Do Things with International Law, Ian Hurd (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017), 200 pp., $29.95 cloth, $29.95 eBook.

Abstract: In his recent book, Ian Hurd argues that international law is pervasive and foundational in international affairs and that the international rule of law is hegemonic over states. While the book is provocative and compelling, it fails to convince on two core points. First, Hurd does not offer a real alternative to international relations realism. Indeed, the book could unwittingly reinforce the realist stance that international law is simply power politics in disguise. Second, the book offers a problematic conception of international rule of law. What Hurd describes is at best a rule by law, or perhaps more appropriately qualified as a travesty of the rule of law.

Keywords: international law, rule of law, realism, liberalism, speech act theory, constitutionalism

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Category: International Law and Human Rights, Issue 32.4, Review Essays

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