PSCI 223 Spring 2013 International Law

International law embodies the rules that govern the society of states. It spells out who can be a state and how to become one, what states can do, what they cannot do, and who can punish transgressions; it also determines the status of other actors, like international organizations, heads of state, refugees, transnational religious institutions and multinational corporations. International law is like domestic law, with one difference: the same group that makes the law enforces it. In other respects it is the same: it protects the status quo, including the distribution of power among its members; it spells out legitimate and illegitimate ways of resolving conflicts of interest; it is biased toward the powerful; it tells its members how to act to coordinate their interests and minimize direct conflict; some of it is laughable and purely aspirational, some of it necessary for survival. And like domestic law, it is enforced only some of the time, and then against the weak more than the strong. Yet law is still where we look first for justice. This course will examine the historical bases of contemporary international law, its development since World War II in the context of the Holocaust and decolonization, and current dilemmas in its practice. Students will study primary materials (treaties, order, memos and cases). This is not a law-school course, but an academic course in liberal arts.
Class Format: lecture
Requirements/Evaluation: two midterm exams, one paper, and one final exam
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: Political Science majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: ENVP Political Theory + Law Electives,JLST Enactment/Applications in Institutions,MAST Interdepartmental Electives,POEC International Political Economy Courses,PSCI International Relations Courses
Enrollment Limit: 30
Expected Enrollment: 30
Class Number: 3650
PSCI223-01(S) LEC International Law Division 2: Social Studies Cheryl Shanks
MWF 08:30 AM-09:45 AM Griffin 7 3650
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