Observers of the USA's attitude towards international law seem to be perpetually taken aback by its actions, whether those relate to the use of force, the International Criminal Court or human rights. This book sets out to articulate the considerable degree of continuity in the nature of US engagement with international law. International Law, US Power explains that the USA has throughout its history pursued a quest for defensive and offensive legal security and that this was a key ingredient in the rise of the USA. Although skilful strategic involvement with international law was an ingredient in the USA 'winning' the Cold War, the rise of China and the growing negotiating strength of leading developing countries mean that the USA is likely to find it increasingly difficult to use the same set of techniques in the future.
Shirley Scott is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, where she established a Masters program in International Law and International Relations. She is also the National Research Chair of the Australian Institute of International Affairs and a member of the executive council of the Asian Society of International Law.
1. The USA quest for legal security; 2. The USA pursuit of legal security through the evolution of the international law of dispute resolution; 3. The USA pursuit of legal security through the evolving regime relating to the use of force; 4. The USA pursuit of legal security in substantive policy arenas; 5. Techniques through which the USA has reconciled its practice of legal security with the principle of sovereign equality; 6. The practice of offensive legal security in USA diplomacy; 7. The future of USA engagement with international law.