States guard their sovereignty, resisting the idea of "global governance," especially in the face of intensifying globalization that has fostered ever more economic and social interdependence. Despite sovereign concerns, international law is far more than a utopian ideal, Rochester argues; rather, it is a very real part of world affairs that is shaped by international politics and, in turn, shapes relations between states. In vibrant prose, Rochester explores the role of international law in international affairs, moving beyond a purely legal approach to the topic. He begins with the substantive rules of international law and then examines its development and operation in five major sectors--human rights; war and peace; the international economy; the law of the sea, airspace, and outer space; and international environment law--all through the lens of international relations theory. Supported by the latest scholarly research and supplemented with instructive case studies, illustrative photos and cartoons, and meaningful discussion questions, this book seeks to spark interest in a subject with a rich history of great contemporary importance and with increasing relevance to our lives.