Intended for students in international relations, international law, and US foreign policy courses, this book demonstrates how international law really functions in foreign policymaking in Washington. David Forsythe views politics as the driving force behind legal interpretation. Examining a series of controversies in public policy during the Reagan Administration - the clash of "Star Wars" with the ABM treaty, use of the Contras against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, the invasion of Grenada, refugee policy in the Western Hemisphere, and the payment of dues to the United Nations - he inquires into the interplay of international law and US foreign policy, stressing the political factors that make for obedience to, or violation of international law. Each of the controversies is analyzed according to a framework raising seven different questions: what are the basic facts of the case? What was the executive's main polocy objective? What legal claims were argued in support of that objective? What was the domestic response of the public, the Congress, and the courts? What was the response of other states and of international organizations?
What was the outcome for the short-term interests of the United States? And what was the outcome of world order? Forsythe shows the crucial relationship between public opinion. Congress, and the judiciary, on the one hand, and Executive primacy in the conduct of foreign policy on the other. One of the main themes emerging from this new analysis is that domestic political factors often decide the fate of international law, frequently being more influential than such legal factors as judgments by the World Court or positions taken by UN agencies.
Publisher: Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc
Number of pages: 175