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Defending the Society of StatesWhy America Opposes the International Criminal Court and its Vision of World Society$
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Jason Ralph

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199214310

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199214310.001.0001

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Understanding US Opposition to the ICC

Understanding US Opposition to the ICC

(p.119) 5 Understanding US Opposition to the ICC
Defending the Society of States

Jason Ralph (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains why the Clinton administration chose to sign, and the Bush administration chose to ‘unsign’ the Rome Treaty. Both argued that the Treaty violated the principle of sovereign consent and they both appealed to Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties to support their argument. The chapter then asks why the US finds this argument so compelling when other democratic states are not threatened by the Court. The chapter offers an answer that goes beyond arguments that focus on America's national interests and its international responsibilities. Instead, it focuses on the cultural role that democratic consent plays in constituting America as a separate nation. The policy of opposing the ICC while offering alternative approaches to international criminal justice is, therefore, a representational practice designed to instantiate a particular image of America as well as a political move to protect the national interest.

Keywords:   American Servicemembers Protection Act, ASPA, Vienna Convention, Law of Treaties, Rome Treaty, consent, American Creed, nationalism, exceptionalism, Wilsonian, exemplarism, nation‐building

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