In its Fall/Winter 1997-98 issue, the UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs (JILFA) continues its mission to encourage interaction among the disciplines of international law, political science, international relations, and economics. This issue presents pieces on a wide range of topics, but each supports a concept central to the JILFA raison d’être: the notion that these disciplines cannot adequately function in isolation from one another. Several of the authors whose work is presented in this issue discuss the impact of domestic political factors at the international level–whether it be the formulation of foreign policy and the resultant impact on international relations, the structure of international institutions, or the application of international law.
It is our hope at the JILFA that the message of our contributors will help promote increased interaction between the diverse disciplines of international studies, as well as greater familiarity on the part of specialists within each discipline with the theories and methods of the others. Only through this dialogue can each of these subject areas reach their full individual potential to explain and predict events in the international arena. – The Editorial Board. Available at HeinOnline, Westlaw, and LexisNexis.
ESSAY: Change Held in Abeyance: Durability and Vulnerability in Asad’s Syria, by Raymond A. Hinnebusch. 2 UCLA J. Int’l L. & Foreign Aff. 171.
In his essay, Raymond Hinnebusch describes the evolution of the Asad regime’s support base, and offers explanations for the regime’s durability. Professor Hinnebusch also suggests that though the regime has managed to insulate itself to a large degree from direct pressure from its domestic constituents, its foreign policy has been influenced indirectly by the regime’s perceived need to maintain a “nationalist” legitimacy in the mind of the public.
How to Reform the United Nations: Lessons from the International Economic Law Revolution, by Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann. 2 UCLA J. Int’l L. & Foreign Aff. 185.
In their articles, Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann and Gert Vermeulen discuss the impact of domestic political factors on the structure of international institutions. Professor Petersmann offers suggestions for transforming the United Nations into a body capable of responding to intranational conflicts and promoting human rights.
A Judicial Counterpart for Europol: Should the European Union Establish a Network of Prosecuting and Investigating Officials?, by Gert Vermeulen. 2 UCLA J. Int’l L. & Foreign Aff. 225.
Mr. Vermeulen recommends that a judicial body be created to supervise the activities of the Europol network, whose function is to facilitate police cooperation in the European Union. In devising their recommendations, both authors recognize that the institutions with which they respectively concern themselves must maintain positive images in the democratic societies of member states if they are to be granted the resources and authority they require to be effective. Other contributors to this issue concern themselves with the influence of domestic political factors in the application of international law.
COMMENT: Towards a New Dialogue Between International Relations Theory and International Trade Theory, Marc S. Ehrlich. 2 UCLA J. Int’l L. & Foreign Aff. 259.
The necessity of breaking down the barriers between disciplines is underscored by Marc Ehrlich’s comment, in which he advocates the importation of the economic principles of international trade theory into international relations theory. This approach requires familiarity with strategic trade theory on the part of international relations theorists, but there is potential for creative new analysis from this consciously cross-disciplinary, post-modernist methodology.
COMMENT: The Kodak-Fuji Dispute: A Spectrum of Divergent Colors and a Blueprint for a New WTO Procedure for Disputes Involving Government Toleration of Anti-Competitive Practices, by Hiroyuki Fujii. 2 UCLA J. Int’l L. & Foreign Aff. 317.
In another comment, Hiroyuki Fujii addresses the Kodak-Fuji trade dispute, arguing that the matter is inappropriate for resolution by the World Trade Organization at this time because local remedies have not been exhausted. He asserts that political motivations may have influenced the decision of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to bring the action prematurely; specifically, the USTR may have been responding to Kodak lobbying efforts.
COMMENT: The Piracy of American Films in China: Why the U.S. Art Form Is Not Protected by Copyright Laws in the People’s Republic of China, by Gerardo Lara. 2 UCLA J. Int’l L. & Foreign Aff. 343.
Gerardo Lara examines intellectual property laws in the People’s Republic of China in his comment. He suggests that the Government’s refusal to enforce intellectual property laws effectively in a manner consistent with the GATT TRIPS Agreement and with the practices of most countries of the West stems from the influence of intellectual property pirates–an influence that they owe to their significant contribution to the local economy.
Available at HeinOnline, Westlaw, and LexisNexis.