Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

New book makes case for strengthening international law

International law plays a “critical, irreplaceable and defining” role in maintaining peace and justice globally and a growing trend of ambivalence towards co-operation will ultimately see the wellbeing and rights of individuals decline, a new book argues.

CarmenPavel
Dr Carmen Pavel has published a new book, Law Beyond the State. Picture: DAVID TETT

In Law Beyond the State, Dr Carmen Pavel a reader in politics, philosophy, and economics at King’s College London, says states must improve and strengthen international law because it makes a critical contribution to an international order characterised by peace and justice.

Dr Pavel said: “In recent years, international agreements and institutions have become particularly contentious. China is refusing to abide by the decision of an international arbitration decision implementing UNCLOS rules in the South China Sea, and Donald Trump has withdrawn the US from international agreements including the Paris Agreement on Climate Change of 2015.

“Such retreats expose widespread ambivalence towards co-operation through international law, and reverse the gains made by long-standing processes of legalisation.”

International law encourages states to protect individual rights and provides a forum where they can communicate, negotiate, and compromise on their differences in order to protect themselves from outside interference and pursue their domestic policies more effectively, including those directed at enhancing their citizen's welfare.– Dr Carmen Pavel

In the book, published by Oxford University Press, Dr Pavel argues that the same reasons which support the development of law at the domestic level - the cultivation of peace, the protection of individual rights, the facilitation of complex forms of cooperation, and the resolution of collective action problems - also support the development of law at the international level.

Dr Pavel added: “International law encourages states to protect individual rights and provides a forum where they can communicate, negotiate, and compromise on their differences in order to protect themselves from outside interference and pursue their domestic policies more effectively, including those directed at enhancing their citizen's welfare.

“International law makes a critical, irreplaceable, and defining contribution to an international order characterized by peace and justice.”

You can find out more about the book and order a copy here.

In this story

Carmen  Pavel

Carmen Pavel

Reader in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics