One of my many roles on our team is liaising with our LLM degree, in which capacity I work closely with my colleague Lucia, the primary administrator of that program. Following up a recent virtual event on international law at Fletcher, Lucia solicited reading recommendations from faculty for those students interested in international law subjects:
Where else can you study international law, international relations, and international business all at the same school? If you’re looking at Fletcher for graduate school, you’ve probably noticed that one of the school’s unique qualities is our diverse curriculum, which allows students to study these three pillars of international affairs in one place. In particular, our strong legal curriculum, which is accessible to students from all of our degree programs, sets Fletcher apart from other APSIA schools in the U.S.
We had a nice information session a couple weeks ago featuring two of our law professors, Ian Johnstone and Joel Trachtman. A few students asked about books they might recommend, or preparation they could do over the summer. As we told all those attending the information session, there’s no need to do preparatory work over the summer before starting at Fletcher. Professors are well-practiced in making their subjects accessible to students from all sorts of academic backgrounds. That being said, if you have time on your hands and feel the urge to dive in a bit early, we’re happy to share some recommendations.
Being academics, our law faculty members have a wide range of interests, so their suggestions included some basic introductory texts in their fields, some books that might be more narrative-based but still relevant to their fields of study or international affairs in general, and some “just for fun” suggestions. I’ve done my best to arrange them accordingly, although some certainly straddle multiple categories. Most are linked to one of our local bookstores, Harvard Book Store, which is an independent bookstore located a few miles from campus in Cambridge. Of course, you’re likely able to find them at your own local bookstore or elsewhere online.
Take a look, and perhaps you’ll find something to keep you busy over the summer. If you do take a professor up on his or her suggestion, let us know in the fall how you liked it!
Background reading on international law
Professor Ian Johnstone teaches International Organizations, Peace Operations, Actors in Global Governance, and Non-Proliferation Law and Institutions. He recommends the following for students interested in international law but with limited background in the subject.
- Sean Murphy, Principle of International Law.
- Vaughan Lowe, International Law: A Very Short Introduction
- Thomas Buergenthal, Public International Law in a Nutshell
Professor Tom Dannenbaum teaches International Criminal Justice, Humanitarian Law, and Ethics in the Practice of Foreign Affairs. He recommended these law-related blogs for students to follow:
Subject-specific books, and Assorted books on law and international relations
Professor Michael Glennon teaches International Legal Order, Public International Law, and Foreign Relations and National Security Law. He recommends:
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Common Law
- George Kennan, The Kennan Diaries
- Wright Mills, The Power Elite
- Niccolo Machiavelli, Discourses on Livy
- Isaiah Berlin, The Crooked Timbers of Humanity: Chapters in the History of Ideas
Professor Christine Bustany teaches the Human Rights Practicum, and Comparative Constitutional Law. She recommends:
- Lucie E. White, Jeremy Perelman (Eds) Stones of Hope: How African Activists Reclaim Human Rights to Challenge Global Poverty
Professor John Burgess teaches Law of the Sea. He shared a recommendation of:
Professor Burgess noted: “[The book] was originally recommended to me by Philip Jones (LL.M. ’17). It is written by a non-lawyer, but it an astute, well-written account of the ways the oceans are used and exploited that sometimes reads like a Conrad novel. It’s also a continuing exploration of the rule of law, its value, and its limitations and contradictions, in governing human conduct on the high seas.”
Professor Hurst Hannum, who has taught Human Rights Law, Advanced Topics In Human Rights, and Nationalism, Self-Determination, and Minority Rights, recommends a recent publication of his:
- Hurst Hannum, Rescuing Human Rights
Professor Joel Trachtman teaches Legal and Institutional Aspects of International Trade, International Financial and Fiscal Law, and International Business Transactions. He shared two books of his for different audiences, and a book on economic globalization.
- Joel Trachtman, The Tools of Argument: How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win, for non-lawyers
- Joel Trachtman, Advanced Introduction to International Trade Law, for those interested in trade law
- James Bacchus, The Willing World: Shaping and Sharing a Sustainable Global Prosperity
Professor Dannenbaum shared some books and an article noting, “Most are not legal per se, but they shed light on the institutions of the law, its history, or the context to which it is applied (in my fields).”
- Phillippe Sands, East West Street
- Gary Bass, Stay the Hand of Vengeance
- Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem
- Martha Minow, Between Vengeance and Forgiveness
- Christopher Browning, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland
- John Witt, Lincoln’s Code
- Robert Cover, Violence and the Word [Yale Law Journal Article 1986]
Professor Johnstone recommends:
- Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See
Professor Hannum recommends:
- Albert Camus, The Plague
Professor Glennon recommends: