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Tom Ginsburg’s Democracies and International Law offers a careful and wonderfully well-documented account of how international law can reinforce or undermine democratic governance within states. At a time when worries about democratic backsliding dominate the growing comparative law literature, Ginsburg—who has been an important contributor to those debates—sets his sights here on the international law dimension of these questions.
Embedded international law (IL) is a democratic strategy designed to enhance respect for international law. A significant part of Tom Ginsburg’s research has focused on the de facto incorporation of international legal principles into domestic legal orders, and thus on the empirical prevalence of international legal transplants. Ginsburg’s recent book Democracies and International Law, which inspired this symposium, identifies how democracies have been key actors in building IL and embedded IL.