In the Shadow of International Law

"This book investigates one of the most controversial forms of secret statecraft in international politics: the use of covert action to overthrow foreign regimes. The central question it asks is why leaders sometimes turn to the so-called quiet option when conducting regime change rather than using overt means. Whereas existing works prioritize the desire to control escalation or avoid domestic-political constraints to explain this variation, this book highlights the surprising role that international law plays in these decisions. When states cannot locate a legal exemption from the nonintervention principle- the prohibition on unwanted violations of another state's sovereignty, codified in the United Nations Charter and elsewhere-they are more likely to opt for covert action. Concealing brazen violations of nonintervention helps states evade hypocrisy costs and avoid damaging their credibility. These claims are tested against four regime change operations carried out by the United States in Latin America during the Cold War using declassified government documents, interviews with former government officials, and historical accounts. The theory and findings presented in this book expose the secret underpinnings of the liberal international order and speak to longstanding debates about the conduct of foreign-imposed regime change as well as the impact of international law on state behavior. This book also has important policy implications, including what might follow if America abandons its role as the steward of the postwar order as well as the promise and peril of promoting new rules and norms in cyberspace"--

Author
Publisher Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date
ISBN 0190096594
Pages 265 pages
Rating 4/5 (95 users)

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