Custom, Power, and the Power of Rules: International Relations and Customary International Law

By Michael Byers | Go to book overview

3
Power and international law

In the absence of an overarching sovereign in the international system, States are not only subject to, but also create, international law.1 States also vary greatly in their wealth, military strength, size and population, and therefore in their ability to apply the kinds of power traditionally studied by international relations scholars. Inequalities among States and their relative abilities to apply power would therefore be expected to have some effect on the development, maintenance and change of rules of international law.

Most international legal scholars, however, have deffoted little energy to considering directly the effects of State inequalities, or international relations-type power relationships, on the processes of international law creation.2 Studies of treaties, customary international law, general principles of law and the 'subsidiary' sources of international law (i.e., judicial decisions and scholarly writings) usually give short shrift to the possibility that relative power differences among States might affect the development, maintenance and change of rules.3 Many international lawyers have assumed, to varying degrees, that international law is the result of processes which are at least procedurally objective and in that sense apolitical. It is possible that this relative lack of interest in the role of power, and the associated assumption of procedural objectivity, are based, in part, on an overly broad conception of sovereign equality.

The concept of sovereign equality has been part of international legal thought for more than two centuries.4 It is representatively expressed in

____________________
1
See Scelle (1932/34) 2ème partie, 10–12; and Scelle (1956).
2
Exceptions include Schwarzenberger (1964) 198–212, but see 506–9; Lasswell and McDougal, see e.g. (1992), vol. 1, 399–452; and, to some degree, Stern (1981). For other recent exceptions, see Wright (1993); and Fidler (1996). For a discussion of how this book relates to the work of Lasswell and McDougal, see pp. 207–10 below.
3
On the different sources of international law, see Art. 38 (1) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice; Brownlie (1990) 1–31; Danilenko (1993); and Dinh et al. (1994) 111–390.
4
In 1758 Vattel wrote: 'A dwarf is as much a man as a giant is; a small Republic is no less a sovereign State than the most powerful Kingdom' (Vattel (1916), Introduction, section 18).

-35-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Custom, Power, and the Power of Rules: International Relations and Customary International Law
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiv
  • Table of Cases xvi
  • Table of Treaties xix
  • Abbreviations xxi
  • Part 1 - An Interdisciplinary Perspective *
  • 1 - Law and Power 3
  • 2 - Law and International Relations 21
  • 3 - Power and International Law 35
  • Part 2 - International Law and the Application of Power *
  • 4 - The Principle of Jurisdiction 53
  • 5 - The Principle of Personality 75
  • 6 - The Principle of Reciprocity 88
  • 7 - The Principle of Legitimate Expectation 106
  • Part 3 - The Process of Customary International Law *
  • 8 - Fundamental Problems of Customary International Law 129
  • 9 - International Relations and the Process of Customary International Law 147
  • 10 - Related Issues 166
  • 11 - Conclusions 204
  • Bibliography 222
  • Index 247
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 250

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.