Secession and Self-Determination: One Decade Later

Lea Brilmayer, Yale Law School


It is an honor to be included in this collection of commentaries on the most-cited articles in The Yale Journal of International Law. Modern International Relations Theory: A Prospectus for International Lawyers was not a typical law review article. It did not address a vexing legal issue, a controversial ruling, or an important event; it offered no doctrinal analysis or normative recommendations. Rather, the article invited international law (IL) scholars to deepen their understanding of international cooperation by applying institutionalist or regime theory from the discipline of international relations (IR). As with a prospectus for a high-tech IPO, in 1989 many found the proposed investment too costly or its payoff too speculative. (The article was rejected by more journals than I care to recall). But a 1993 article by Anne-Marie Slaughter suggesting a somewhat different IR-IL research agenda provided a strong boost to the enterprise. Since then, interdisciplinary scholarship has flourished.