Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Center/Program

European Legal Studies Center

Abstract

A trope of international law scholarship is that the United States is an "exceptionalist" nation, one that takes a distinctive (frequently hostile, unilateralist, or hypocritical) stance toward international law. However, all major powers are similarly "exceptionalist," in the sense that they take distinctive approaches to international law that reflect their values and interests. We illustrate these arguments with discussions of China, the European Union, and the United States. Charges of international-law exceptionalism betray an undefended assumption that one particular view of international law (for scholars, usually the European view) is universally valid.

Comments

Please note that the copyright in the International Law Journal is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College, and that the copyright in the article is held by the author.

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