Judicial power in domestic and international politics

Jeffrey K. Staton, Will H. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Although scholars have made considerable progress on a number of important research questions by relaxing assumptions commonly used to divide political science into subfields, rigid boundaries remain in some contexts. In this essay, we suggest that the assumption that international politics is characterized by anarchy whereas domestic politics is characterized by hierarchy continues to divide research on the conditions under which governments are constrained by courts, international or domestic. We contend that we will learn more about the process by which courts constrain governments, and do so more quickly, if we relax the assumption and recognize the substantial similarities between domestic and international research on this topic. We review four recent books that highlight contemporary theories of the extent to which domestic and international law binds states, and discuss whether a rigid boundary between international and domestic scholarship can be sustained on either theoretical or empirical grounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-587
Number of pages35
JournalInternational Organization
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Law


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