During this lecture Karen J. Alter will interrogate what might happen to international law should America turn its back on the international liberal order. She argues that most substantive international law will also remain unchanged and unaffected. But that there are also new questions we never asked regarding how variations in social commitments affect the way that international law operates around the world. The current moment makes these questions increasingly urgent.
|Date||22 May 2019|
In a recent a general audience article on The Future of International Law, Karen Alter interrogated the past to think about what might happen to international law should America turn its back on the international liberal order. She argued that despite President Trump’s apparent repudiation of the international liberal order, international law will remain the discourse and language of international relations, and most substantive international law will also remain unchanged and unaffected. Yet since the political value of international law stems from a political commitment to legality as social value, the spread of populism could present a destabilizing challenge to international law. This lecture will push further to identify some frontiers of research in international law. Keeping with her earlier argument, some frontiers remain unchanged, in that the questions remain relevant and under-researched. Yet there are new questions we never asked regarding how variations in social commitments affect the way that international law operates around the world. The current moment makes these questions increasingly urgent.
Karen J. Alter is Professor of Political Science and Law at Northwestern University, a permanent visiting professor at the iCourts Center for Excellence, University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law, and the co-director Research Group on Global Capitalism and Law at the Buffett Institute at Northwestern University. Alter’s expertise concerns global and regional judicialization of international relations, with a particular focus on international adjudication. Alter is author of the award-winning book The New Terrain of International Law: Courts, Politics, Rights (Princeton University Press, 2014); International Legal Transplants: Law and Politics of the Andean Tribunal of Justice (Oxford University Press, 2017, with Laurence Helfer); The European Court’s Political Power (Oxford University Press, 2009) and Establishing the Supremacy of European Law (Oxford University press, 2001), and more than fifty articles and book chapters on the politics of international law, comparative international courts, and international regime complexity. She is also co-editor of the Oxford Handbook on International Adjudication (Oxford University Press, 2014) and International Court Authority (Oxford University Press, 2018). Alter serves on the editorial boards of the American Journal of International Law, International Studies Review, Journal of International Dispute Settlement, and International Organization, and she is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. Alter is a former Guggenheim Fellow, winner of the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin, and the winner of the American Society of International Law’s Certificate of Merit for a Preeminent Contribution to Creative Scholarship. Alter’s new research focuses on the construction of global economic rules regulating trade and money, and on the determinants of politically sustainable capitalism.
This lecture is part of the ACIL Annual Research Day 2019 and is open to the general public. It will take place from 15.15 - 16.45 hrs. Practical information will be shared with you after registration.