The Limits of International Law. By Jack L. Goldsmith and
Eric A. Posner. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. 272p. $29.95.
The Politics of International Law. Edited by Christian
Reus-Smit. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004. 344p. $75.00 cloth,
Is international law really law? If it is law, is it effective in
constraining state behavior against interest? These two questions have
vexed international lawyers and those international relations scholars
interested in international law who until the last 15 years or so were
relatively few in number. There has been a proliferation of scholarship on
these questions, and on bridging the gap between international relations
and international law (IL). (To note only one recent survey piece, see
Anne-Marie Slaughter, Andrew Tulumello, and Stephan Wood,
“International Law and International Relations Theory: A New
Generation of Interdisciplinary scholarship,” American Journal
of International Law 92 [July 1998]: 367–397).