Constitutionalizing World Politics:
The Logic of Democratic Power and the Unintended Consequences of International Treaty Making

Published by Cambridge University Press
July 2020 | Order on Amazon

The elusive ideal of a world constitution is unlikely to be realized any time soon – yet important steps in that direction are happening in world politics. Milewicz argues that international constitutionalization has gathered steam as an unintended by-product of international treaty making in the post-war period. This process is driven by the logic of democratic power, whereby states that are both democratic and powerful – democratic powers – are the strongest promoters of rule-based cooperation. Not realizing the inadvertent and long-term effects of the specialized rules they design, states fall into a constitutionalization trap that is hard to escape as it conforms with their interests and values. Milewicz’s analysis will appeal to students and scholars of International Relations and International Law, interested in international cooperation, as well as institutional and constitutional theory and practice.


‘This deeply researched study offers a refreshing perspective on global constitutionalization, a topic that is garnering increasing attention in the international law and international relations literature. Milewicz’s rigorous approach convincingly shows that the international processes of constitutionalization are driven by powerful democratic states and raises important questions about the future direction of global governance.’
Alexandru Grigorescu, Loyola University Chicago

‘In Constitutionalizing World Politics, Karolina Milewicz skillfully weaves conceptual and empirical insights from political science to create a theoretically grounded and empirically informed model for understanding when and why constitutionalization occurs. In so doing, this impressive volume develops a powerful and innovative approach to understanding whether, and how, states’ participation in a dense web of international treaties and law-making processes is contributing to a constitutionalization of the international order.’
Jeffrey Dunoff, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Law, Temple University, Philadelphia

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