Chicago Journal of International Law

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Post-Cold War triumphalism prompted efforts to transform international law into a tool of democratization, forsaking the international legal order’s former neutrality with respect to the foundations of political legitimacy within states. Yet after three decades, the sources of political legitimacy remain “incorrigibly plural,” and efforts to ascertain “the will of the people” remain beset by indeterminacy. It is time to rediscover international law’s role as a framework of accommodation among bearers of conflicting interests and values, with consequent limits on pro-democratic intervention in the internal affairs of states.

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