Anthea Roberts

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International Law

The Parochialism of American Cosmopolitanism

What immediately strikes outsiders to international law as it is understood in the United States—whether foreigners on a visit or Americans who come to our debates with other expertise and training—is how critically the field is affected by its local institutions and protocols. The stereotype is that the purpose of induction into international law is to provide some cosmopolitan lingua franca, for the sake of the gentle civilization of nations by universal norms and the altruistic caste of their stewards, who represent humanity more than any country.

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