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This book analyses three key concepts, global public goods, global commons, and fundamental values, as tools geared towards the protection of the general interests of the international community. After providing an overview of these concepts, the book examines how international law has responded to them in a wide range of fields, and investigates how global governance has improved, or worsened, this response. Contributions from a group of experts explore the legal foundations of general interests, and discuss which interests have or have not been deemed to deserve the protection of international law. Other chapters focus on whether, and to what extent, it is appropriate that international law intervenes to regulate such interests, considering the interplay between multiple actors including states, international and regional organisations, and non-state actors.
The book explores how states and other actors have used international law to protect general interests, what lessons can be learned from these efforts, and what significant challenges still need to be addressed.