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The Politics of International Law

Nicole Scicluna

25 February 2021

ISBN: 9780198791201

400 pages

In Stock

Price: £27.99

The only introduction to international law for politics and IR students to take a case study-based approach.



Brings international law to students of IR in a way that is accessible without being oversimplified. Readers will be equipped with a deep understanding of the possibilities and limits of international law as a tool for structuring relations in the world.

  • Case study driven approach helps students understand the complexities of international law: it is through case study examples that legal and political principles are explained.
  • Written specifically for politics and IR students with no prior knowledge of law.
  • Encourages students to question assumptions, such as whether international law is fit for purpose, and what that purpose is or ought to be.
  • Includes discussion of the potential of rising powers to shift the international system.
  • Also available as an e-book with functionality, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support

About the Author(s)

Nicole Scicluna, Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Hong Kong

Table of Contents

    1:Introduction: What is International Law and Why Does it Matter for International Relations?
    Part I: Law, Politics and the Sovereign State
    2:International Law and International Relations Theory
    3:Locating Law in the International System
    4:International Organisations, States and Global Governance
    5:Compliance and Enforcement in International Law
    Part II: Controversies in Contemporary International Law and Politics
    6:Global Environmental Governance and Climate Change
    7:Global Economic and Trade Governance
    8:Human Rights in the Post-War Period
    9:States, Nations, and Colonies: The Law and Politics of Self-Determination
    10:International Law and the Use of Force
    11:International Humanitarian Law
    12:War and Law in the Twenty-First Century: New Threats and New Approaches
    13:International Criminal Justice: From Nuremberg to the International Criminal Court
    14:The Politics of International Law: Continuity and Change


"Professor Scicluna's book, The Politics of International Law, is a unique textbook that I plan to use myself. The examples and boxes are extremely up to date, and it is the only international law textbook that situates international legal politics in its post-colonial context, bringing in a TWAIL (Third World Perspectives on International Law) voice. Very readable, and deftly switching between international relations theory and international law, law on the books and law in action, Western and non-Western perspectives, this text offers up to date discussions that will engage students as they grapple with the hard issues and conundrums that international law today raises." - Karen J. Alter, Professor of Political Science and Law, Northwestern University, USA

Additional Resources

Digital formats and resources

The Politics of International Law is available for students and institutions to purchase in a variety of formats.

The e-book offers a mobile experience and convenient access along with functionality tools, navigation features and links that offer extra learning support: www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/ebooks

Online resources include:

Online updates from the author on key global events, cases, and issues

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