Complexity Rules (or: Ruling Complexity)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter is a comment on the capacity of international law to address complex problems such as climate change, as a complement and response to Jutta Brunnée’s preceding chapter. The comment first questions whether complexity is in fact a special case or rather an all-pervading characteristic of international relations, and by extension, of international law. Second, the comment questions—notwithstanding the current angst that internationalist lawyers feel and express due to what seems like a tidal-scale assault on international law—whether the international rule-of-law management of complexity is a particularly contemporary issue, or just another iteration of recurrent, resurgent, occasionally even refreshing, frictions that characterize international law. Third, the comment asks whether the challenges of complexity maintain a special relationship with international law, or whether these are substantially the same as the interactions of these issues with domestic legal systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe International Rule of Law:
Subtitle of host publicationRise of Decline?
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780198843603
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Paris Climate Change Agreement
  • climate change law
  • informality
  • rule of law
  • treaties


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