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Shaping Foreign Policy in Times of Crisis grew out of a series of meetings that the authors convened with all ten of the living former U.S. State Department legal advisers (from the Carter administration to that of George W. Bush). Based on their insider accounts of the role that international law actually played during the major crises on their watch, the book explores whether international law is real law or just a form of politics that policymakers are free to ignore whenever they perceive it to be in their interest to do so. Written in a style that will appeal to the casual reader and serious scholar alike, the book includes a foreword by the Obama administration's State Department legal adviser, Harold Koh; background on the theoretical underpinnings of the compliance debate; an in-depth case study of the treatment of detainees in the war on terror; and a comprehensive glossary of the terms, names, places, and events that are discussed in the book.
Michael P. Scharf is the John Deaver Drinko Baker & Hostetler Professor of Law and Director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. In February 2005, Scharf and the Public International Law and Policy Group, a nongovernmental organization he co-founded with Paul Williams, were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Scharf served in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State during the elder Bush and Clinton administrations. He is the author of more than seventy scholarly articles and twelve books, including The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which was awarded the American Society of International Law's Certificate of Merit for the Outstanding Book in International Law in 1999, and Peace with Justice (with Paul Williams), which received the International Association of Penal Law Book of the Year Award for 2003. Dr. Paul R. Williams holds the Rebecca Grazier Professorship in Law and International Relations at American University, where he teaches in the School of International Service and the Washington College of Law. He is also the co-founder and Executive Director of PILPG, which was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for pro bono legal assistance to states and governments involved in peace negotiations, drafting post-conflict constitutions, and prosecuting war criminals. Williams formerly served in the Department of State's Office of the Legal Advisor for European and Canadian Affairs, and as a Senior Associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He has authored four books and more than two dozen articles on a wide variety of public international law topics. Dr Williams is also a sought-after international law and policy analyst, has been interviewed numerous times by major print and broadcast media, and has published numerous op-eds.