This is a general introduction to international law considered in a political and historical perspective. Throughout, an effort is made to identify the ideological and political motivation underlying international legal rules and institutions, which are examined through the prism of the principal actors in the international community: Western, socialist and developing countries. This book differs from standard textbooks in an important respect: it covers some topics neglected by traditional works, such as the historical evolution of the international community or the law of economic relations and of development, while some traditional topics are dealt with only tangentially, such as international arbitration. The book will thus appeal to lawyers who wish to explore the background and context to this subject and to political scientists who want to know more about the policy pursued by each of the three major groupings of States in international law-making.
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