This Article proposes that international law is undergoing a paradigm shift, which will have significant implications for foreign affairs. A dramatic expansion of legal machinery, institutions, and processes is occurring in the international sphere. Now, more than ever before foreign policy decision-making occurs in the shadow of the law. The conception of a new rule of law is at stake; appropriate to the present state of global politics, as it aims to manage heightened political conflict and violence through law. The impact of the juridical paradigm shift is primarily discursive. The expanded legal discourse represented by the present international human rights system contributes a rhetoric that both enables and constrains politics; but whose constructive potential is not infinitely malleable. Understanding this paradigm shift requires new interpretive principles, which is the larger project for which this Article lays the foundation.
35 Cornell Int'l L.J. 355 (2001-2002)