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May 24, 2006


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This is one of the most far reaching bloggs yet posted on the UofC website. A cold war with China! Yet no comments! I wish I had the background or intellectual capacity to comment. Are there no Chicago Lawyers who are interested in this subject?


Very interesting paper that I greatly enjoyed reading. However, one critique: The paper reads too much like a summary of all the failings of the UN during the cold war, and why all those failings are likely to recur if there is a new cold war. I think the paper really needs to additionally consider the other scenario you present: the likely consequences of what happens if there emerge multiple great powers, with shifting loyalties to each other.

One thought I have is that international institutions and international law may be significantly more useful in a situation of multiple great powers than in the situation of two superpowers. It is cheap to use an ad hoc framework to address disputes between two parties. But when the dispute concerns many parties, an existing standard forum that is the default forum will cut transaction costs for all parties. Of course, the forum needs to be flexible to emerging trends, or a party that is too disadvantaged will eventually balk. But that is at least one suggestion why the cold-war analysis might not apply to a very possible eventuality.


International law? What a joke. International law only applies to those countries that lack power. It has never applied to the all-powerful USA, and I doubt it will apply to a strong China. Heck, it still hasn't been forced on Russia. As a matter of fact, I think it has only applied to countries that have lost a war or conflict, like Germany, Japan, or Serbia. Hmm, now I am wondering if we can even call it International Law. It actually looks to be a device used against the losing countries to "legitimize reparations." Why don't we just call it what it really is?

International Law is nothing more than "Legal Plunder of Sovereign Losers"


Your claim that China will make the international legal system less weak is creative. Did you forget that the US is the only country that refuses to abide by rulings of the international court at the hague? Or that the US is the only country that has refused to sign the kyoto protocal?
If anyone has weakened the international legal system, it is the US.

Perhaps China's rise will prompt a rebalancing, and therefore challenge the US's presumed pre-eminence. In such a bipolar situation, perhaps the rest of the world will be warranted and feel protected (by the rivalry) enough to speak out for international law.In the current unipolar situation, any country that dares question the US authority is named an enemy and therefore liable to accusation or invasion by Washington.


To say that India may involve itself in conflict resoution of international problems involving China or even any other major power does not reflect the reality. India is now involved in nation building activities very seriously and my guess is that it will try to keep itself away from all power projections.May be things may change after another 15 years or so



No, I didn't forget that the USA has never been subjected to the Internaltional Court. That is exactly my point. Russia was also never subjected to the rulings of the court either. China has never been either, and as long as China remains powerful, it won't either. That was my whole point. Might makes right. Nobody can subjugate a nation that is powerful enough to defend itself. And yes, the USA is the greatest power and the greatest offender of International Law. That is why I said it is a joke.

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