1st Edition

The Costs of War International Law, the UN, and World Order After Iraq

By Richard Falk Copyright 2008
    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    In The Costs of War, Richard Falk brings together some of his recent essays, published and unpublished, examining the impact that the Iraq War has had and will have on international law, human rights, and democracy.

    A new introduction provides an overview as well as a sense of the current context and reflects on the internal prospects for Iraq and on the logic of an early US military and political withdrawal.

    Having been revised and updated to take account of the march of events, the essays are organized into the following sections:

    • Part 1 addresses the effects of the American invasion and occupation of Iraq on the current dimensions of world order
    • Part 2 provides a normative inquiry into the larger intentions and consequences of the Iraq War
    • Part 3 considers the more fundamental implications of the Iraq War, especially on our understanding of war as an instrument for the solution of conflict.

    Falk demonstrates the dysfunctionality of war in relation to either anti-terrorism or the pursuit of a global security system based on military dominance; the historical potential of a realistic Gandhiism as a positive alternative in the setting of global policy in the twenty-first century.

    The Costs of War will be of interest to students and scholars of political science, media studies, and politics and international relations in general.


    Introduction  Part 1: Counter-Terrorism, Grand Strategy, and World Order  1. International Law: Power, Justice, and Stability  2. The Surprising Revival of the Just War Framework  3. Reviving Punitive Peace: The Sanctions Regime (1991-2003)  4. Toward Regional War  5. What Future for the UN Charter System of War Prevention? Reflections on the Iraq War  Part 2: Toward Critique  6. Engaging Normative Consciousness  7. Demystifying Iraq  8. Democratizing the Middle East  9. Executing Saddam Hussein  Part 3: An Ethos of Accountability and Responsibility  10. Legality and Legitimacy  11. Humanitarian Intervention?  12. The Criminal Accountability of Leaders  13. World Tribunal on Iraq: Truth, Law, and Justice


    Richard Falk is the Albert. G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice, Emeritus at Princeton. Since 2002 he has been the Visiting Distinguished Professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara teaching in the Global Studies Program. His most recent books are Predatory Globalization: A Critique (1999); Human Rights Horizons: The Pursuit of Justice in a Globalizing World Order (Routledge, 2000); and The Declining World: America’s Imperial Geopolitics (2004). He serves on various editorial boards including The Nation and The American Journal of International Law. He was a member of the Independent International Commission on Kosovo (1999-2001) and the Human Rights Inquiry Commission for Palestine of the UN Human Rights Commission (2002). He is co-editor of Routledge’s Global Horizon’s book series.

    "The Costs of War provides a welcome reaffirmation of the importance of the international law as an indispensable tool of the world public order. Through his careful analysis of key events over the past few years – Kosovo, Iraq, the execution of Saddam Hussein – Professor Falk provides a balanced and sober assessment of the place of international law in contemporary international relations. This is important reading for all those involved in international policy and decision-making."

    --Christine Chinkin, Professor of International Law, London School of Economics

    "This scathing, well-grounded critique of an illegitimate and unsustainable foreign policy shows how the U.S. has ‘destroyed the (global) village in order to save it.’ Defending the hard-won gains of global governance, Falk ably makes the case for international law as a response to neo-conservative imperialist thuggery."

    --Alison Brysk, Professor, Department of Politics, University of California Irvine

    "In a bold and original analysis, Richard Falk brilliantly captures the changing relationship between law and power. His critical reading of U.S. foreign policy gauges the normative costs of the Iraq War to world order. A masterly account of morality and war!"

    --James H. Mittelman, University Professor of International Affairs, American University

    "This book is a must read for all those who would like to understand how international law can help produce a more just world order. Its central argument is simple: the impartial exercise of international law is needed to control abuses of state power and to govern foreign policy. Richard Falk brilliantly demystifies how recent practices of geopolitics have overridden and manipulated international law and how many of the crimes of the powerful have been obscured in the process. at the same time, Falk's wise counsel gives voice to and hope for an ethic of responsibility in global affairs in ways that will appeal to diverse forces and movements in the emerging global civil society."

    --Stephen Gill, Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Political Science, York University