- Use of force, war, peace and neutrality
This chapter assesses the role of the United States (US) in the development of the international law of global security. It begins by reflecting on competing US conceptions of the relationship between national security and global order as they evolved across the twentieth century. The chapter then focuses on three significant trends defining the contemporary field. First are US attitudes towards multilateral institutions and global security, and the ongoing contest between beliefs that they are mutually reinforcing versus beliefs that US security and global institutions sit in zero-sum opposition. Second is the impact of the generational ‘War on Terror’, which has yielded more permissive interpretation and development of laws governing the global use of violence. The final trend is that towards competitive geopolitical interests restructuring international law, which is evident across diverse areas ranging from global economics, to cybersecurity, to the fragmentation of global order into spheres of influence.
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