Law and International Security

Panel Code: 
Prof. Leopold Lovelace 

Law plays pivotal yet conflicting roles in international security. At the level of the international system, international law is supposed to provide the constitutional principles of equal security among sovereign nation states, peaceful settlement in accordance with justice, and that the only legitimate use of force is for the common interest; but the institutional mechanisms for the activation of these principles, both in terms of the U.N. Charter's provisions on the Security Council, and in terms of regional security structures such such as NATO's, codify structural inequalities among nations. On the other hand, at the level of nation state systems, where inequalities are inherent to their relative power and resource capabilities, national security laws and their derived defense and intelligence policy postures, not only mirror and aim at sustaining such inequalities, but also lead to potential and actual international behavior by nation states, and not just the most powerful among them, which contradict and often undermine the fundamental values of equal security and international peace. This panel aims at bringing together critical and plural perspectives from both international and national legal dimensions of security practices and policies, in order to open new avenues of research and applications in this critical area of world politics."

Prof. Leopold Lovelace
Prof. Wayne Sandholtz