International Law in Context is a pedagogy-forward casebook. It reflects the recent paradigm shift in legal education, which asks the academy to focus on what students actually learn rather than the material to which they are exposed. To this end, the text organizes material into conceptual frameworks to promote understanding and retention. It also provides students with meaningful feedback loops via a series of pedagogical devices, such as foundation questions, assessment sets, and "Why Is This Important?" prompts that invite reflection and synthesis.
As for substance, the text challenges the next generation of U.S. lawyers to engage with our interconnected world and to critically evaluate the U.S.'s role within the international legal order. Part One lays the foundation, covering the various actors within the system, the theories that help explain their behavior, and the principles and sources of law they create. Part Two turns to the fora that define and support the international order, the historical and political contexts that impacted their design, and their efficacy. Part Three presents sophisticated capstone projects that ask students to engage with two major challenges of our time. The text first explores climate change, including the existing international treaty regime, U.S. implementation options, and the constitutional role of sub-national actors. The text then shifts to the use of force. It asks students to consider international law's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Syrian Civil War, and the Taliban's 2021 return to power in Afghanistan in the context of historical case studies regarding the First and Second Gulf Wars, the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, the Rwandan Genocide, and the invasions of Afghanistan.
An interactive webpage with lesson plans, sample syllabi, additional reading sources, and teaching slides will be available in 2023.