Spheres of Influence and International Law

  • Paul Keal


We have seen, in the previous chapter, that when the United States and the Soviet Union have intervened in their respective spheres of influence, they have sought to justify their actions to the world at large, primarily by appealing to the needs of their perceived security requirements. They have also sought to justify their actions in terms of international law, but the status in international law, both of spheres of influence and of the actions influencing powers have taken, is uncertain and needs to be determined. The problem about this is that what one jurist will count as law another may not and what is law to one state is not necessarily considered law by another. A prior question, therefore, is: What is international law? Accordingly, the first part of this chapter discusses the nature of international law, both western conceptions and the Soviet conception. The second part deals with spheres of influence in the history of international law, and the third summarizes legal argument concerning the actions the influencing powers took in the same four examples considered in the last chapter.


Influence Power Socialist Internationalism Peaceful Coexistence Armed Attack European Power 
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Notes and References

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© Paul Ernest Keal 1983

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  • Paul Keal

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