International law well-illustrates this more nuanced understanding of law. This article will consider humanitarian interventions conducted in the name of human rights and the ‘rule of law’ to illuminate the multidimensional nature of law as violence, bureaucracy, and governance.
In Part II, this article will explore law’s relationship with violence. It will briefly examine conventional views that position law as a restraint upon or selective and judicious dispenser of violence as well as more critical views that explore the enmeshed nature of law and violence. It will then discuss contemporary humanitarian interventions and human rights institutions and practices, and their historical antecedents, to surface international law’s violence. In Part III, this article will discuss the ways in which law’s force becomes subject to bureaucratic, technical considerations with the increasing rationalization of law. In the context of international interventions, it will elaborate the importation of “rational” international legal regimes and the deployment of “objective” international experts to establish and manage such regimes and to train local participants in these new procedures and practices. Part IV will focus on the deployment of law as a technique in projects of governance and the roles of experts in creating, facilitating, and maintaining networks and practices of reform and management. Humanitarian interventions begin as the projects of states and inter-governmental organizations but expand to include larger and more diffuse networks of actors. The article will conclude by returning to the larger questions of international law and contending that understanding the integration of law’s violence with projects and institutions of bureaucracy and governance is essential for answering those questions as well as for an appropriately complex appraisal of humanitarian intervention in the contemporary environment.
Bruch, Elizabeth M.
"Is International Law Really Law? Theorizing the Multi-Dimensionality of Law,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 44
, Article 7.
Available at: https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol44/iss2/7