IR464      Half Unit
The Politics of International Law

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Mr Andrew Jillions CLM 4.07


This course is available on the MSc in China in Comparative Perspective, MSc in Global Politics, MSc in Global Politics, MSc in Global Politics (Global Civil Society), MSc in Human Rights, MSc in International Relations, MSc in International Relations (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Relations (Research), MSc in International Relations Theory, MSc in Political Theory, MSc in Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies and MSc in Theory and History of International Relations. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

An introduction to the politics of the creation and implementation of international law, intended for non-lawyers. The course focuses on the areas of international law most relevant to International Political Theory: human rights, the use of force and international crime, and examines the increasing legalization of international politics, the tensions between international politics and international law, alternatives to international law and international law post 9/11. Watch a short introductory video on this course:


20 hours of seminars in the LT. 4 hours of seminars in the ST.

Indicative reading

Armstrong, D. International Law & International Relations (Cambridge, 2007); Bass, G Stay the Hand of Vengeance: The Politics of War Crimes Tribunals (Princeton UP, 2000); Koskenniemi, M. From Apology to Utopia: The Structure of International Legal Argument (Cambridge, 2006); Maogoto, J. War Crimes and Realpolitik: International Justice from World War I to the 21st Century (Lynn Rienner, 2004); May, L. Crimes against Humanity: A Normative Account (Cambridge, 2004); McGoldrick, D. From 9-11 to the Iraq War 2003: International Law in an Age of Complexity (Hart Publishing, 2004); Reus-Smit, C ed. The Politics of International Law (Cambridge UP, 2004); Rochester, JM. Between Peril & Promise: The Politics of International Law (CQ Press, 2006); Robertson, G. Crimes Against Humanity: The Struggle for Global Justice (Penguin, 2006); Simpson, G. Law, War & Crime (Polity, 2007).
1 x 2,000 word essay


Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (50%, 4000 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2009/10 - 2011/12 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 10.7
Merit 60.3
Pass 26.7
Fail 2.3

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2012/13: 1

Average class size 2012/13: Unavailable

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course survey results

(2010/11 - 2011/12 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 90.9%



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