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Our project is an interdisciplinary one, engaging the theoretical and empirical concerns of both political science and international law. Contrary to what mainstream political science/international relations theory has been predicting for more than a decade, there appears to be an increased reliance not only on international institutions to help govern international affairs, but also on formal dispute resolution and law. In the past decade, previously existing courts have become more assertive, new courts have been created and a range of formally nonjudicial institutions have begun to behave in quasi-judicial ways (e.g., the UN Human Rights Committee and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (the GATT) dispute-settlement panels). One might ask if we are not seeing something like a judicialization of international life, and one might try to account for this process.

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