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The volume contains contributions from leading scholars in the field of international law, including Jan Wouters, Nigel D. White, Jan Klabbers, Mary Footer and Nico Krisch, who consider the idea of institutional autonomy in international law, and autonomy within international institutional law from a broad perspective.
The book engages with the idea of international organisations as autonomous entities, both in terms of control and influence over their membership and as independent actors in the international system as a whole. It considers the difficulties of theorising autonomy in a decentralised legal system, where autonomy appears as both desirable and dangerous at the same time. Related to this, the chapters question how changing perceptions of international law affect ideas of autonomy in particular institutional settings, and how, in turn, particular institutional structures or experiences may affect our perceptions of, or ambitions for change within the international system as a whole.