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International law has moved from the periphery to the center of public debate in the course of only a few short years. The everquickening globalization of politics, culture, and economics has prompted new efforts to find global solutions to global problems. International law now touches an astonishing array of activities. It governs everything from the goods and services that cross state borders and the greenhouse gases that industries and consumers produce, to the circumstances that justify intervention in humanitarian disasters and the treatment afforded suspected terrorists. Of increasingly urgent concern, then, is whether all of this law actually makes much of a difference.

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