Monica Hakimi has offered a thought-provoking and timely analysis of how the jus ad bellum operates, placing on the agenda of international legal scholarship a regulatory dynamic that has thus far remained underappreciated. While I believe that a discussion of this dynamic is overdue and thus welcome her plea to take informal regulation seriously, I find some of her underlying assumptions about the nature and function of international law problematic. Therefore, rather than applaud the manifold insightful points Hakimi makes, this essay zeroes in on two related assumptions in her article that I find questionable: first, Hakimi's reasoning about the law-creating effects of informal regulation and, on a related note, the distinction between legality and legitimacy; and second, her tendency to embrace uncritically the particularistic nature of informal regulation. Both points implicate what I term the “hyper-responsiveness” of the law, that is, the (problematic) notion that every momentary political constellation should be reflected in the content of the law. In embracing law's hyper-responsiveness, Hakimi's article sidesteps a discussion of the ambivalent implications of informal regulation.
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