Law in Transition Biblioessay: Globalization, Human Rights, Environment, Technology

As globalization continues, many transformations in international and domestic laws are underway or called for. There are too many laws and too few, too much law that is inadequate or obsolete, and too much law-breaking. This biblioessay covers some 100 recent books, nearly all recently published, arranged in four categories. 1) International Law includes six overviews/textbooks on comparative law, laws related to warfare and security, pushback against demands of globalization, and gender perspectives; 2) Human Rights encompasses general overviews and normative visions, several books on how some states violate human rights, five items on how good laws can end poverty and promote prosperity, and laws regulating working conditions and health rights; 3) Environment/Resources covers growth of international environmental law, visions of law for a better environmental future, laws to govern genetic resources and increasingly stressed water resources, two books on prospects for climate change liability, and items on toxic hazards and problems of compliance; 4) Technology, Etc. identifies eight books on global crime and the failed war on drugs, books on the response to terrorism and guarding privacy and mobility in our high-tech age, seven books on how infotech is changing law and legal processes while raising intellectual property questions, biomedical technologies and the law, and general views on the need for updated laws and constitutions. In sum, this essay suggests the need for deeper and timely analysis of the many books on changes in law.FOREWORD
This “frontier frame” assembles catalog information on recent books that focus on international law and comparative law, with special attention to human rights, environmental law and technologies making current laws obsolete. It serves as a companion to “Taming Global Governance Idea Chaos: A ‘Frontier Frame’ for Recent Books” (CADMUS, 1:3, Fall 2011), which surveyed some 100 titles mostly published in the past three years.
Some 100 titles are also cited here, virtually all published in the past three years. Attention to domestic and global legal issues appears to be a major trend, and one might think that “global governance” and “global law” would be closely linked. Yet there is surprisingly very little overlap, and less than a dozen titles are cited in both essays. In other words, books on global governance say little on global law, and vice versa!

Most books identified here are published by prestigious US/UK university presses such as Harvard (8), Stanford (8), Cambridge (9), Oxford (5), Pennsylvania (5), New York University (5), MIT (5), Columbia (4), and Princeton (4), but the authors come from a wide range of developed-world countries. No references are known, however, to books on globalizing law published in other countries or languages. As global governance proceeds, and as law slowly becomes more globalized, one should expect a wider range of voices on transitions in law that are underway, as well as desirable “good society” ideals.
Items are arranged in four major categories:
1. INTERNATIONAL LAW (Overviews, Textbooks, Comparative, Security, Pushback, Gender)
2. HUMAN RIGHTS (General, Visions, State Crime, Anti-Poverty, Work and Health)
3. ENVIRONMENT/RESOURCES (General, Visions, Resources, Other Issues)
4. TECHNOLOGY, ETC. (Global Crime, Terrorism/Security/Privacy, Infotech, Biotech, Normative Visions)

OVERVIEWS: Laws, rules, regulations, and guidelines are issued to guide human behavior in a great number of areas (arguably too many areas, at least in some countries). As global problems emerge, along with an increasingly globalized economy aided by new communications technologies, international laws need strengthening, along with new laws. Perhaps the best starting point is Law Without Nations edited by Austin Sarat et al. (Stanford, 1/11, 256p), which examines ways in which the growing internationalization of law affects domestic national law, the relationship between cosmopolitan legal ideas and understandings of national identity, and how law divorced from nations would clear the ground for more universalist grounds for law. Pushing this ideal further, in States Without Nations: Citizenship for Mortals (Columbia, 1/09, 384p), Jacqueline Stevens of University of California, Santa Barbara imagines a world without national laws of birthright citizenship, family inheritance, state-sanctioned marriage, and private land.
TEXTBOOKS: Four textbooks provide introductory overviews. International Law: Contemporary Issues and Future Developments edited by Stanford R. Silverburg (Westview, 3/11, 656p) covers R2P and universal jurisdiction, international political economics, the International Court of Justice, humanitarian law, the environment, and terrorism. International Law in World Politics: An Introduction by Shirley V. Scott (Lynne Rienner, 2nded, 2010, 509p) discusses multilateral treaties, intergovernmental organizations and non-state actors, human rights, use of force and arms control, and humanitarian law. International Law: Classic and Contemporary Readings edited by Charlotte Ku and Paul Diehl (Lynne Rienner, 3rded, 2009, 509p) explains international legal process, implementation and compliance issues, international legal structures, protecting human rights and the environment, managing the ocean and outer space commons, and future evolution of the international legal system. Law in Many Societies: A Reader edited by Lawrence M. Friedman et al. (Stanford, 4/11, 368p) recognizes that law is increasingly global and cross-national, and shows how law relates to society in different times and places.

COMPARATIVE: Continuing the comparative theme, The Handbook of Comparative Criminal Law edited by Kevin Jon Heller and Markus Dubber (Stanford, 12/10, 720p) explores criminal law systems in 16 countries, noting similarities and differences in design of criminal codes, protected rights, and specific offenses. Law and Long-Term Economic Change: A Eurasian Perspective edited by Debin Ma and Jan Luiten van Zanden (Stanford, 7/11, 368p) covers different legal regimes in Western Europe, East and South Asia, and the Middle East, insofar as the nature and evolution of legal regimes, ownership and property rights, courts, and dynamics of legal transplantations through processes such as colonization. Asian Legal Revivals: Lawyers in the Shadow of Empire by Yves Dezalay and Bryant Garth (Chicago, 11/10, 288p) discusses the role of colonial experiences and the increasing importance of law and lawyers in South and Southeast Asia. Eurolegalism: The Transformation of Law and Regulation in the European Union by R. Daniel Kelemen (Harvard, 4/11, 328p) points to the advent of regulation through litigation with the growth of the EU, causing detailed and judicially enforceable rules—often framed as “rights”—that are backed with public enforcement litigation. Upgrading the EU’s Role as Global Actor by Michael Emerson et al. (Centre for European Policy Studies, 1/11, 100p) analyzes the changing position of the EU since acquiring a legal personality, and whether these developments lead to upgrading EU’s presence in conventions of international law. Constitutional Theocracy: Law in a Non-Secular World by Ran Hirschl (Harvard, 11/10, 290p) views an emerging new legal order at the intersection of two global trends: rising popular support for theocratic governance and the spread of constitutionalism or judicial review, exploring religion-and-state jurisprudence in dozens of countries (seen as a prudent strategy allowing opponents of theocratic governance to bring it under check and protect against radical religion).
SECURITY: War and War Crimes by James Gow (Columbia, 11/10, 256p) notes that military strategies increasingly embrace justice and law as crucial components of success, how militaries can maintain a sense of legitimacy, and when a war act becomes a war crime. However, New Battlefields, Old Laws: Critical Debates on Asymmetric Warfare edited by William C. Banks (Columbia, 10/11, 304p) argues that changing patterns of global conflict are forcing a rethink of traditional laws of war; gaps in the laws of war leave modern battlefields largely unregulated, emboldening non-state combatants to exploit forbidden strategies. The Challenge of Abolishing Nuclear Weapons edited by David Krieger of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (Transaction, 5/09, 242p) explores the role of international law in facilitating abolition, while noting little meaningful progress toward disarmament. Securing Freedom in the Global Commons by Scott Jasper (Stanford, 3/10, 312p) points to an ever-expanding range of threats to global security and regulation by international law of outer space, international waters and airspace, and cyberspace.
PUSHBACK: Not surprisingly, international law conflicts with national laws, especially an issue for the waning US hegemon, which often employs “selective self-exemption”. Meeting the Enemy: American Exceptionalism and International Law by Natsu Taylor Saito (NYU Press, 3/10, 384p) describes how the US has supported the international legal system while also distancing itself from many international law principles and institutions, which leads to decreasing effectiveness of the global rule of law. Also see Taming Globalization: International Law, the U.S. Constitution, and the New World Order by John Yoo and Julian Ku (Oxford, 1/12, 280p), which reconciles demands of globalization by reconceptualizing the Constitution and embracing mediating devices. In The Perils of Global Legalism (Chicago, 10/09, 280p), Eric A. Posner warns of a dangerously naïve tendency toward legalism—an idealistic belief that law can be effective in the absence of legitimate institutions of governance.
GENDER: Sex and World Peace by Valerie M. Hudson et al. (Columbia, 2/12, 256p) argues that the systemic insecurity of women acts to unravel the security of all, and notes discrepancies between national laws protecting women and enforcement of those laws, as well as inequitable family laws. Constituting Equality: Gender Equality and Comparative Constitutional Law edited by Susan H. Williams (Cambridge, 8/11, 378p) examines constitutional doctrines across a range of different countries and gender equality issues in constitutional drafting, including domestic incorporation of international law and rights provisions. Trafficking and Prostitution Reconsidered: New Perspectives on Migration, Sex Work, and Human Rights edited by Kamala Kempadoo (Paradigm, 2nded, 3/11, 304p) updates recent developments in law, policy, and international agreements. Legalizing Prostitution by Ronald Weitzer (NYU, 12/11, 288p) draws on research in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany to develop “best practices” that can serve as a model for other nations. Women’s Human Rights: The International and Comparative Law Casebook by Susan Deller Ross (Pennsylvania, 8/09, 688p) describes the deprivation and violence women suffer due to discriminatory laws and customs, provides legal tools for change, and shows how human rights treaties can be used to obtain new laws and court decisions.

GENERAL: International Human Rights Law: An Introduction by David Weissbrodt and Connie de la Vega (Pennsylvania, 8/10, 448p) surveys development of human rights as a domain of international law, summarizing principles and practices relevant to equality, life, slavery, fair trial, detention, torture, privacy, health, food, housing, clothing, environmental health, peace, self-determination, and security from terrorism. Human Rights Lawyering: Cases and Materials by Ralph G. Steinhardt et al. (Westlaw, 2009) emphasizes enforcement of human rights law in several settings, demonstrating its linkages to labor law, refugee law, humanitarian law, corporate law, environmental law, and international economic law. Universal Human Rights and Extraterritorial Obligations edited by Mark Gibney and Sigrun Skogly (Pennsylvania, 1/10, 296p) presents a brief for a more complex and updated approach to protecting human rights worldwide, in that globalization is challenging fundamental principles of international law. Similarly, Human Rights for the 21st Century: Sovereignty, Civil Society, Culture by Helen M. Stacy (Stanford, 2/09, 304p) finds that human rights abuses still continue at “an alarming rate,” and proposes a new ethical and legal framework to fill gaps in current approaches.
VISIONS: Looking even further ahead, 2048: Humanity’s Agreement to Live Together by J. Kirk Boyd (Berrett-Koehler, 4/10, 222p; argues that provisions of the far-ranging 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights are inadequate, and proposes an enforceable International Convention in place by the 100th UDHR anniversary that safeguards basic freedom of speech and religion, freedom from want and from fear, and freedom for the environment. But is this the best framing? In A Quest for Humanity: The Good Society in a Global World (University of Toronto, 12/11, 252p), Canadian sociologist Menno Boldt describes “significant inadequacies of human-rights doctrine as a blueprint for social order” and how it “lacks the authenticity to be accorded the status of constitutional supremacy that trumps all other laws and community moral standards”. Rather, we need a morality based on “an authentic universal humane ethical principle that will inspire common cause and commitment to individual liberty and social justice…an ethic of universal and equal human dignity and humanity as the basis for international relations and cooperation…a global moral social order founded on the absolute principle and the concept of humane mutuality [that] embodies the universal aspiration of humankind.” Obviously, an ongoing discussion and debate on these different views are needed.
STATE CRIME: Nation-state regimes are often the cause of human rights violations, as argued in State Terrorism and Human Rights: International Responses since the Cold War by Paul Wilkinson (Routledge, 10/10, 240p), documenting responses based on democratic principles and the rule of law, with proposals for a more effective protection of human rights. Political Repression: Courts and the Law by Linda Camp Keith (Pennsylvania, 12/11, 336p) explores tools of state repression and international human rights norms that can serve as a constraint. State Crime: Current Perspectives by Dawn L. Rothe and Christopher Mullins (Rutgers, 11/10, 368p) asserts that current media and political discourse on crime has long ignored crimes committed by states themselves, despite their greater financial and human toll. Crimes Against Humanity: Historical Evolution and Contemporary Application by M. Cherif Bassiouni (Cambridge, 5/11, 850p), President Emeritus of the International Human Rights Law Institute, examines evolution of crimes against humanity since WWI, criminal tribunals, and the International Criminal Court. Genocide: A Normative Account by Larry May (Cambridge, 3/10, 300p) explores the crime of genocide in international criminal law and expands its definition to include cultural genocide and ethnic cleansing. The Justice Cascade: How Human Rights Prosecutions Are Changing World Politics by Kathryn Sikkink (W.W. Norton, 9/11, 342p) argues that prosecutions are a powerful political tool, and that state leaders in Europe, Latin America, and Africa have lost their immunity from any accountability for their human rights violations—a shift that is affecting the behavior of political leaders worldwide. (As of February 2012, however, Syria’s Bashar Assad does not seem to have gotten the message.) The Sun Climbs Slow: The International Criminal Court and the Struggle for Justice by journalist Erna Paris (Seven Stories Press, 4/09, 400p) describes US opposition to a permanent ICC and the developing tension between unchallenged political power and rule of international law. Human Rights Regimes in the Americas edited by Monica Serrano of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and Vesselin Popovski of the UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU Press, 3/10 280p) finds that the Americas have seen considerable progress in human rights, yet abuses of rights and challenges to the rule of law have taken on a different and more elusive character.
ANTI-POVERTY: Freedom from Poverty: NGOs and Human Rights Praxis by Daniel P.L. Chong (Pennsylvania, 6/10, 232p) points out that NGOs modify human rights practices by taking up the cause of subsistence rights, promoting access to economic goods into national laws, and using legal instruments to build social movements and guide development work. Solomon’s Knot: How Law Can End the Poverty of Nations by Robert D. Cooter and Hans-Bernd Schafer (Princeton, 1/12, 328p) argues that ineffective private and business laws are the root cause of poverty, and that effective property, contract, and business laws help unite capital and ideas. Similarly, Pillars of Prosperity: The Political Economy of Development Clusters by Timothy Besley and Torsten Persson (Princeton, 9/11, 432p) states that rich and peaceful countries avoid repressive government, have a tax system for a broad base with widespread compliance, and also have a legal infrastructure that enforces contracts and property rights in line with the rule of law. Reinforcing these views, The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East by Timur Kuran (Princeton, 12/10, 384p) shows that slow economic development of the Middle East is not due to colonialism, geography, or Muslim attitude, but Islamic legal institutions that promote low trust, rampant corruption, and weak civil societies. Also, One Billion Rising: Law, Land, and the Alleviation of Global Poverty edited by Roy L. Prosterman et al. (University of Amsterdam Press, 8/09, 450p) notes that most of the world’s poorest people lack ownership of−and rights to−the land that forms their principal source of livelihood, and that land reform and related legal work have transformed the lives of millions of families.
WORK AND HEALTH: Working Conditions Laws: Report 2010 (Geneva: International Labor Office, 2/11, 72p) provides a global comparative analysis of national working conditions standards in over 100 countries, including minimum wages, working hours and holidays, maternity protection, and significant global trends. Regulating for Decent Work: New Directions in Labor Market Regulation edited by Sangheon Lee and Dierdre McCann (ILO, 8/11, 380p) discusses issues such as regulation of precarious work, responses to neoliberal ideologies, new types of labor markets, effectiveness of legal norms, and labor market uncertainty. Equality at Work: The Continuing Challenge (ILO, 8/11, 92p) is the global report under the follow-up to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work in 2011, showing that discrimination is becoming more varied than ever, and that “pay equality remains an elusive goal”. The Employment Relationship: A Comparative Overview by Giuseppe Casale (ILO, 12/10, 320p) explores definitions, laws, and practices in various regions, finding that globalization has increased the need for employee protection because changes in the world of work have modified traditional employment relations, such that it is increasingly difficult to determine who is in a legally defined relationship. Litigating Health Rights: Can Courts Bring More Justice to Health? (Harvard, 5/11, 208p), edited by Alicia Ely Yamin of the Harvard Law School Global Health and Human Rights program and Siri Gloppen, notes a “tremendous growth” in the number of health rights cases in the last 15 years, as regards access to health services and essential medications; case studies of advancing the right to health by holding governments accountable include Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, and South Africa.

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