The Law and Politics of International Regime Conflict

ISBN : 9780199689330

Dirk Pulkowski
400 ページ
162 x 240 mm

The international order is constituted by a plurality of international regimes - institutionalized arrangements in different issue areas that possess their own norms and procedures. The present book examines how conflict among regimes may arise and probes the role that international law can play in managing such conflict. Throughout the book, the example of trade in cultural products is used to illustrate the evolution of regime conflict and the potential for its management. Conflicts between the goals of 'free trade' and 'cultural diversity' have notably surfaced within the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). As a result, there is a potential for conflict among WTO law, the UNESCO's Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, and human rights. The book posits that three dimensions are characteristic for regime conflict: First, regime conflict is a function of conflict among different social goals or values. Second, such goal conflicts are institutionalized through the interaction of a variety of political actors struggling for influence, often in intergovernmental organizations. Third, regime conflict may manifest itself in conflicts of legal rules. If a state acts in conformity with the rules of one regime, its conduct may trigger a violation of the rules of another regime. The author argues that, while international law cannot be construed as a fully integrated and unified system, it does provide a common language for different regimes to engage with each other. The shared discourse rules of international law enable a degree of coordination of the policies of different regimes, notably through techniques of interpretation and legal priority rules. International law contributes to the management of regime conflict by providing commonly accepted reasons for choosing among competing policy goals.


1. Culture Is One Thing and Varnish Is Another
I. Introduction
II. Regulating Trade in Cultural Products
III. Regime Conflict and the Fragmentation of International Law
IV. The Plan of This Book
2. Regime Conflict as Goal Conflict
I. Introduction
II. Toward a Heterarchy of Goal-Specific Regimes
III. Goal Conflicts Arising from Trade in Cultural Products
IV. Conclusion
3. Regime Conflict as Institutional Conflict and Power Struggle
I. Introduction
II. The Politics of Regime Formation and Regime Interaction
III. Regime Shifting and Regime Conflict: Trade and Culture
IV. Conclusion
4. Regime Conflict as Conflict among Legal Rules
I. Introduction
II. A Theory of Conflict of Rules
III. Conflict Scenarios Relating to Trade in Cultural Products
IV. Conclusion
5. The (Ir)relevance of International Law for Conflict Management
I. Introduction
II. Pluralistic Challenges to the Relevance of International Law
III. Legal Conflict Management within a Unitary International Legal Order
IV. Conclusion
6. From Legal Unity to Communicative Compatibility
I. Introduction
II. International Law as a Regime-transcendent Grammar
III. Shared Background Assumptions of International Relations
IV. Conclusion
7. Conflict Management through Legal Interpretation
I. Introduction
II. A Theory of Harmonizing Interpretation
III. Accommodating the Trade Regime, the Culture Regime and Human Rights
IV. Conclusion
8. Conflict Management through Priority Rules
I. Introduction
II. A Typology of Priority Rules
III. Conflicts among the Trade Regime, the Culture Regime, and Human Rights
IV. Conclusion


Dirk Pulkowski is a Legal Counsel at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, where he serves as registrar in arbitrations between states and investor-state arbitrations. Prior to joining the PCA, Mr. Pulkowski worked as a lawyer at the trade and arbitration group of an international law firm in Brussels. Mr. Pulkowski holds a doctoral degree from the University of Munich and an LL.M. degree from Yale Law School. He is qualified to practice law in Germany.