On the Growth in Normativity in International Relations

Jan-Erik Lane


Foreign affairs have become more regulated than ever before, speaking generally about the global market economy and the interactions among states, international as well as regional organisations like the EU and ASEAN. However, how is this increased normativity, supported by the global civil society, to be theorized in relation to the two classical paradigms: realism versus idealism or liberalism? On the one hand, a new realist interpretation has been launched by Posner. On the other hand, the new cosmopolitanism of Caney envisages foreign affairs on the model of domestic affairs in so-called well-ordered countries. In this article, I argue that both positions fail to render a credible account of the increasing relevance of public international law (PIL) for inter alia politics and economics today. Yet, the functions of PIL do not match the roles of rule of law in domestic affairs.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jpl.v6n1p15

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