Thanks to the Harvard International Law Journal for hosting a symposium on my Article and to the four respondents for their thoughtful contributions. In the Article, I distill and then criticize a prominent view about the role of international law in the global order. The view — what I call the “cooperation thesis” — is that international law serves to foster a particular kind of cooperation, specifically to help the participants achieve their common aims and curb their disputes. Lawyers who subscribe to this view of course appreciate that international law is, like all law, often contentious in operation. But they posit that, unless such conflict is overcome, it detracts from cooperation and evinces the limits of international law. That view is wrong. It incorrectly assumes that cooperation and conflict are antithetical — that they pull in opposite directions, such that international law fosters one by curtailing the other. In fact, international law fosters both simultaneously. Even as it helps the participants achieve their shared goals and reconcile their differences, it also helps them have and sharpen their disputes. The two kinds of interactions are not antithetical but interdependent. I will not use this Reply to rehash that argument. I will simply address the main criticisms and questions that the respondents raised.
International Law | Law
Reply on The Work of International Law,
Harv. Int'l L. J. Online
, no. 1
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/3619