Originally uploaded at SSRN.


Susan Block-Lieb and Terence Halliday gradually build up an empirically grounded, meticulously realized argument that individual lawmakers matter. When one allows facts to inform theory rather than the other way around, the authors show, what becomes clear is that individual lawmakers are not just governmental delegates, but a whole variety of professionals, industry association representatives, and others with some stake in the lawmaking process. These actors work not just through formal processes, but also through an array of informal ones. Most importantly, their presence matters to the content of the legal norms that take hold around the world. The book thus carves a new place among a very small universe of empirically grounded analyses of international lawmaking, and an even smaller universe of accounts that focus on individual actors. It organizes these observations through the lens of social ecology theory, which, though unfamiliar to international legal theory, offers fascinating purchase on the question of how actors develop international legal orders. The book also contributes the first in-depth empirical analysis of the lawmaking work of the little-studied United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.