Is the International Legal Order Unraveling? (CUP, 2022)
The book Is the International Legal Order Unraveling?, edited by David L. Sloss, was published by Oxford University Press in November 2022.
This book grows out of the work of the American Branch’s Study Group on Threats to the Liberal International Order, which had the mandate to examine threats to the rules-based international order and possible responses. Sloss chaired the Study Group.
The several chapters in the book generally support the conclusion that the rules-based international order confronts significant challenges, but it is not unraveling—at least, not yet. Climate change is the biggest wild card in trying to predict the future. If the world’s major powers—especially the United States and China—cooperate to combat climate change, then other threats to the rules-based order should be manageable. If the world’s major powers fail to address the climate crisis by 2040 or 2050, the other threats addressed in this volume may come to be seen as trivial in comparison.
The book consists of 14 chapters—several of which were written by other ABILA members—plus an introduction. ABILA authors include: Maxine Burkett, Kathleen Claussen, Tom Ginsburg, Jaya Ramji-Nogales, Leila Nadya Sadat, Wayne Sandholtz, David Sloss, and Richard Steinberg. Three chapters address specific threats to the rules-based international order: climate change, autonomous weapons, and cyber weapons. Eight chapters address particular substantive areas of international law: jus ad bellum, jus in bello, trade law, investment law, anti-bribery law, human rights law, international criminal law, and migration law. The remaining chapters provide a range of perspectives on the past evolution and likely future development of the international legal order as a whole.
A book launch was held in conjunction with the American Society of International Law on November 14. You can watch the program online (available until December 31).