Thursday, January 13, 2005

Musings on International Law

In working on my dissertation, I have been reading a number of sources regarding treaties and international law. Treaties are international law for anyone who was not aware of this and, as such, are legally binding.

Impressed? Well, in theory, everyone should be. Entering into a treaty involves the creation of international law. Each treaty concluded and the more parties involved in each treaty (universality!) brings us closer to escaping the anarchic nature of international politics! We can only wish it were so.

Treaties and international law are often flouted by the strong and the weak. Would you classify Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Egypt, Taiwan, South Korea, and Syria as strong states? All of these states have violated international agreements and, thus, international law when it comes to their obligations under the NPT. You break the law and you get punished, right? Right....

If international politics is typified by the environment in which the strong do as they will and the weak abide what they must, what does it say when weak states (relatively) flaunt it with impunity and the world does nothing?