One of our leading international lawyers-a former Legal Adviser of the US State Department, Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights, and Yale Law Dean-argues that President Trump has thus far enjoyed less success than many believe, because he does not own the pervasive "transnational legal process" that governs these issue areas.
This book shows how those opposing Trump's policies during his administration's first two years have successfully triggered that process as part of a collective counter-strategy akin to Muhammad Ali's "rope-a-dope." The book surveys immigration and refugee law, human rights, climate change, denuclearization, trade diplomacy, relations with North Korea, Russia and Ukraine, America's "Forever War" against Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, and the ongoing tragedy in Syria.
Koh's tour d'horizon illustrates the many techniques that players in the transnational legal process have used to blunt Trump's early initiatives. The high stakes of this struggle, and its broader implications for the future of global governance-now challenged by the rise of populist authoritarians-make this exhausting counter-strategy both worthwhile and necessary.
Harold Hongju Koh is Sterling Professor of International Law, former Dean (2004-09) and co-founder of the Rule of Law Clinic at Yale Law School, where he has taught since 1985. He served as Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State from 2009-13; Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor from 1998-2001; and Attorney-Adviser, Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice, from 1983-85.
He has testified regularly before Congress and has argued at the U.S. Supreme Court, the International Court of Justice and many other domestic and international courts. He has received seventeen honorary degrees, more than thirty human rights awards, and the Wolfgang Friedmann Prize from Columbia Law School and the Louis B. Sohn Award from the American Bar Association's International Law Section for his lifetime achievements in international law.
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