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Shifting Global Powers and International Law by Charles Sampford, Bridget Lewis, Rowena Maguire

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2 Looking back to anticipate the future

International law in the era of the United States

Shirley V. Scott1

Introduction

We appear to be living at a time of significant change to the international order. China has increasing economic influence and is building up its military strength. It is reasonable to expect that, as a significant world power, China will impact the nature of the international system. Because China does not have a tradition of respect for human rights or the rule of law comparable to that of the West, observers are also querying what the rise of China means for international law. It is the premise of this chapter that if we want to understand what the future may hold, we need to start with a strong sense of the present and ...

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