Challenging sovereignty? The USA and the establishment of the International Criminal Court

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Does the establishment of a permanent International War Crimes Tribunal (International Criminal Court—ICC) constitute a challenge to national sovereignty? According to previous US governments and several American observers, the answer is yes. Establishing a world court that acts independently of the states that gave birth to it renders the idea of sovereignty meaningless. This article analyzes the American objections to the ICC and the conception of sovereignty and international law underlying these objections. It first considers the structure and intent behind the criminal court and attempts to unveil the logic hiding behind the idea of ‘America's historical uniqueness.’ It touches on the diverging US and European conceptions of sovereignty and ends up arguing that governments that stick to traditional conceptions of sovereignty and international law in the employment of their foreign policy may lose the moral legitimacy that has proven increasingly important for winning the sympathy of allies and regaining world leadership.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEthics & Global Politics
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)83-108
Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Research areas

  • The ICC, US opposition to the court, sovereignty, international law, exceptionalism

ID: 203322673