Regulating Resort to Force: A Response to Matthew Waxman from a 'Bright-Liner'

O. Corten
2013 European journal of international law  
This article exposes the difficulties raised by Matthew Waxman's article in correctly assessing what he designates as the 'Bright-Liners' view. Three propositions will be detailed in support of this thesis. First, I will argue that (even) those who are considered as 'Bright-Liners' recognize the existence of 'grey zones' and the necessity to make some 'balance' between different elements in each particular context. It seems therefore incorrect to distinguish the two tendencies according to this
more » ... s according to this criterion. By contrast, it is true that most 'Bright-Liners' will support a more restrictive interpretation of the existing rules prohibiting the use of force. But, as I will try to establish in a second stage, the arguments put forward in this restrictive approach are not always properly described by Matthew Waxman. Lastly, I will emphasize a major characteristic of the restrictive approach which, in my view, is underestimated in Matthew Waxman's article: the quest for a universal inter-subjectivity, which dictates the importance of basing one's analysis on the positions of numerous states and scholars from various parts of the world.
doi:10.1093/ejil/chs090 fatcat:t63hrgdwnvboha4ephjpitjzgu