This innovative and systematic work on the political and ethical dimensions of the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) is the first comprehensive attempt to situate the politics of the I.C.C. both theoretically and practically. Steering a new path between conventional approaches that stress the formal link between legitimacy and legal neutrality, and unconventional approaches that treat legitimacy and politics as inextricable elements of a repressive international legal order, Steven C. Roach formulates the concept of political legalism, which calls for a self-directed and engaged application of the legal rules and principles of the I.C.C. Statute. Politicizing the International Criminal Court is a must-read for scholars, students, and policymakers interested in the dynamics of this important international institution.
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Steven C. Roach is assistant professor in the Department of Government and International Affairs at the University of South Florida. He is the author of Cultural Autonomy, Minority Rights, and Globalization, and editor of Critical Theory and International Relations: A Reader. He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and is currently finishing a book on the evolution of critical international theory.Review:
At last social theorists and scientists are taking the International Criminal Court seriously! To those who believe that the ICC can exist distinctly from politics, Steven Roach's insightful and provocative exploration of the Court's relationship to the political will be a wake-up call. That wake-up call, however, has little to do with the pessimism of realpolitik that so dominates the field; it is, instead, an appeal to invest the Court with the right sort of politics―a 'political legalism.' (Frédéric Mégret, McGill University)
Law and politics do not usually mix, but if global justice is to flourish, courts must make some compromises with the 'realpolitik.' This is an important study of an uncomfortable fact of international legal life. (Justice Geoffrey Robertson QC)
For IR scholars teaching the role of international legalism, Roach's book is very useful and well-pitched core reading. . . . For those seeking to develop a timely interest in the ICC it is both useful and accessible . . . Roach's book remains a valuable addition to our teaching and contextual research resources. (Political Studies Review, May 2009, Vol 7 No 2)
Certain to frame discussion on the cosmopolitanism of the ICC . . . future researchers will thus want to build on the research of this book. (Perspectives on Politics)
Steven Roach poses the important question of what criteria or ends should guide the International Criminal Court when it exercises its potentially broad discretionary jurisdiction. In proposing an answer, he draws creatively on, and attempts in a genuinely interesting way, to marry theories of politics and of international relations. The result is a significant contribution to the theoretical literature on global governance and human rights. (Tom J. Farer, University of Denver)
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