International Law

Jan Klabbers (Author)


Written by one of the world's leading international lawyers, this is the new and updated edition of Jan Klabber's landmark textbook. International law can be defined as 'the rules governing the legal relationship between nations and states', but in reality it is much more complex, with political, diplomatic and socio-economic factors shaping the law and its application. This refreshingly clear, concise textbook encourages students to view international law as a dynamic system of organizing the world. Bringing international law back to its first principles, the book is organised around four questions: where does it come from? To whom does it apply? How does it resolve conflict? And what does it say? Building on these questions with both academic rigour and clarity of expression, Professor Klabbers breathes life and energy into the subject. Footnotes point students to the wider academic debate while chapter introductions and final remarks reinforce learning. The second edition has been updated throughout, with particular attention to recent judicial decisions, and features new sections on sovereign debt relief, the prompt release of vessels, and the Antarctic.

Product Details

Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
April 13, 2017
6.8 X 0.7 X 9.6 inches | 1.75 pounds
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About the Author

Jan Klabbers is currently Academy Professor (Martti Ahtisaari Chair) at the University of Helsinki, on leave from his position as Professor of International Law at the University of Helsinki. He has held visiting professorships in New York, Geneva and Paris, and is currently Visiting Research Professor at Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam. He was one of the Inaugural Fellows at the Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of International Law and Justice at New York University (2009-10), and has served as Director of the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in Global Governance Research (2006-11).


'Moving beyond standard presentations of international law as a settled set of rules and practices, and without compromising on rigor and comprehensiveness, Jan Klabbers offers us here a remarkable reflective digest of the foundations, functioning, impact and dynamics of international law. Much more than a textbook: a vision for any student, researcher or practitioner.' Jean d'Aspremont, University of Manchester
'I'd like to praise its lucidity and coverage, in particular its skilful combination of 'traditional' and 'modern' elements, both in its exposition and critique, linking classic concepts to emerging lines of thinking. It's an outstanding introduction to contemporary international law - and this update ensures it stays so.' Freya Baetens, University of Oslo, Norway