[Steve Charnovitz is Associate Professor of Law at GW Law]
Economic Foundations of International Law is an introduction to and reference work on the economic approach to analyzing and understanding international law. The book seeks to summarize and highlight the existing literature and to provide an intellectual framework for future scholarship. In my view, this book succeeds in its purposes.
The book is to be commended for its synoptic coverage of the entire spectrum of public international law. While some interesting topics are underemphasized (e.g., constitutional issues of international law), the book covers issues that I had not expected (e.g., such as exchange rate manipulation). I like the way that the issue of the intersection between international law and domestic law is included as one chapter in Part II "General Aspects of International Law" and the way in which the authors include a Part V on "international economic law" although I would have been happier to see a definition of that term. The authors included the law of the sea chapter in the same part as their strong chapter on international environmental law, even though some parts of maritime law could have been placed under Traditional Public International Law.
In any event, the broad scope of the book in itself enables the authors to achieve their purpose of providing a valuable reference work on public international law. Although the book includes an index and a moderate amount of footnotes, the authors missed an opportunity to present a bibliography of sources so that one can see the whole of the body of literature that the authors seek to promote. The book also suffers in not presenting a conclusion.
Let me now address a few substantive weaknesses:
[Steve Charnovitz is an associate professor of law at The George Washington University Law School. He blogs at the International Economic Law and Policy Blog.]
On October 31, 2008, I made a presentation at the ASIL’s Tillar House of a proposal for an “International Court of Justice Decisions Implementation Act.” My proposal is an outgrowth of my essay in the Agora...