Hostname: page-component-7d684dbfc8-lxvtp Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-09-22T13:36:25.636Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForArticlePurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForBookPurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForElementPurchase": false, "coreUseNewShare": true, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

Alternatives to “Legalization”: Richer Views of Law and Politics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 July 2003

Get access


The authors of “Legalization and World Politics” (International Organization, 54, 3, summer 2000) define “legalization” as the degree of obligation, precision, and delegation that international institutions possess. We argue that this definition is unnecessarily narrow. Law is a broad social phenomenon that is deeply embedded in the practices, beliefs, and traditions of societies. Understanding its role in politics requires attention to the legitimacy of law, to custom and law's congruence with social practice, to the role of legal rationality, and to adherence to legal processes, including participation in law's construction. We examine three applications of “legalization” offered in the volume and show how a fuller consideration of law's role in politics can produce concepts that are more robust intellectually and more helpful to empirical research.

Copyright © The IO Foundation 2001

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Abbott, Kenneth W., and Snidal, Duncan. 2000. Hard and Soft Law in International Governance. International Organization 54 (3):421–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Abbott, Kenneth W., Keohane, Robert O., Moravcsik, Andrew, Slaughter, Anne-Marie, and Snidal, Duncan. 2000. The Concept of Legalization. International Organization 54 (3):401–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barnett, Michael, and Finnemore, Martha. 1999. The Politics, Power, and Pathologies of International Organizations. International Organization 53 (4):699732.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Biersteker, Thomas J., and Weber, Cynthia, eds. 1996. State Sovereignty as Social Construct. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bowett, Derek W. 1958. Self Defence in International Law. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
Brunnée, Jutta. 1993. Toward Effective International Environmental Law: Trends and Developments. In Law and Process in Environmental Management, edited by Kennett, Steven A., 217–36. Calgary, Alberta: Canadian Institute of Resources Law.Google Scholar
Brunnée, Jutta, and Toope, Stephen J.. 1997. Environmental Security and Freshwater Resources: Ecosystem Regime Building. American Journal of International Law 91:2659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brunnée, Jutta, and Toope, Stephen J.. 2000. International Law and Constructivism: Elements of an Interactional Theory of International Law. Columbia Journal of Transnational Law 39:1974.Google Scholar
Byers, Michael. 1999. Custom, Power, and the Power of Rules: International Relations and Customary International Law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chinkin, Christine M. 1989. The Challenge of Soft-Law: Development and Change in International Law. International and Comparative Law Quarterly 38:850–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Finnemore, Martha. 2000. Are Legal Norms Distinctive? NYU Journal of International Law and Politics 32 (3):699705.Google Scholar
Finnemore, Martha, and Sikkink, Kathryn. 1998. International Norm Dynamics and Political Change. International Organization 52 (4):887917.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Franck, Thomas M. 1990. The Power of Legitimacy Among Nations. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Fuller, Lon L. 1969. The Morality of Law. Rev. ed. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Glenn, H. Patrick. 2000. Legal Traditions of the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Goldsmith, J. L., and Posner, E. A.. 1999. A Theory of Customary International Law. University of Chicago Law Review 66:1113–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goldstein, Judith, and Martin, Lisa L.. 2000. Legalization, Trade Liberalization, and Domestic Politics: A Cautionary Note. International Organization 54 (3):603–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hillgenberg, H. 1999. A Fresh Look at Soft Law. European Journal of International Law 10:499515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hurrell, Andrew. 2000. Conclusion: International Law and the Changing Constitution of International Society. In The Role of Law in International Politics: Essays in International Relations and International Law, edited by Byers, Michael, 327–46. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Kahler, Miles. 2000a. Legalization as Strategy: The Asia-Pacific Case. International Organization 54 (3):549–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kahler, Miles. 2000b. Conclusion: The Causes and Consequences of Legalization. International Organization 54 (3):661–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kennedy, David. 1997. New Approaches to Comparative Law: Comparativism and International Governance. Utah Law Review 2:545637.Google Scholar
Keohane, Robert O., Andrew Moravcsik, and Anne-Marie Slaughter. 2000. Legalized Dispute Resolution: Interstate and Transnational. International Organization 54 (3):457–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kingsbury, Benedict. 1998. The Concept of Compliance as a Function of Competing Conceptions of International Law. Michigan Journal of International Law 19:345.Google Scholar
Koh, Harold. 1997. Why Do Nations Obey International Law? Yale Law Journal 106:25992659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lasswell, Harold D., and McDougal, Myres S.. 1971. Criteria for a Theory About Law. Southern California Law Review 44:362.Google Scholar
Lauterpacht, Hersch. 1947. Recognition in International Law. London: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Lowe, Vaughan. 2000. The Politics of Law-Making: Are the Method and Character of Norm Creation Changing? In The Role of Law in International Politics: Essays in International Relations and International Law, edited by Byers, Michael, 207–26. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Lutz, Ellen L., and Sikkink, Kathryn. 2000. International Human Rights Law and Practice in Latin America. International Organization 54 (3):633–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Macdonald, Roderick A. 1998. Metaphors of Multiplicity: Civil Society, Regimes, and Legal Pluralism. Arizona Journal of Comparative and International Law 15:6991.Google Scholar
Postema, Gerald J. 1991. On the Moral Presence of Our Past. McGill Law Journal 36:1153.Google Scholar
Postema, Gerald J. 1994. Implicit Law. Law and Philosophy 13:361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ragazzi, M. 1997. The Concept of International Obligations Erga Omnes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Reisman, Michael. 1992. The View from the New Haven School of International Law. Proceedings of the American Society of International Law 86:118.Google Scholar
Simmons, Beth A. 2000. The Legalization of International Monetary Affairs. International Organization 54 (3):573602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Slaughter, Anne-Marie. 1995. International Law in a World of Liberal States. European Journal of International Law 6:503–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Toope, Stephen J. 2000. Emerging Patterns of Governance and International Law. In The Role of Law in International Politics: Essays in International Relations and International Law, edited by Byers, Michael, 91108. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Verdross, Alfred, and Koeck, Heribert Franz. 1983. Natural Law: The Tradition of Universal Reason and Authority. In The Structure and Process of International Law, edited by Macdonald, R. and Johnston, D. M., 1750. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
Walzer, Michael. 1983. Spheres of Justice: A Defense of Pluralism and Equality. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
Wang, Hongying. 2000. Weak States, Strong Networks: The Institutional Dynamics of Foreign Direct Investment in China. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar