The end of the Cold War has brought an increased legalization of the international sphere, particularly through the field of international criminal law. We examine how law has enjoyed this dominance through an institutional biography of the International Criminal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). We find that through its own survival strategies, the Tribunal's trajectory generated symbolic and material capital that is securing a broader institutionalization of international criminal law. We demonstrate how innovations within the ICTY produced new resources and legal tools, and formed a professional class of international civil servants who are going on to legitimate and extend these tools in other venues. As a result, the field is gaining a foothold despite a recent loss in momentum of the ICTY itself. Consonant with the broader valuation of symbolic goods, we conclude that the legalization of the international works through a logic of deferred accomplishments, in which short-term losses are part of a gamble for securing institutional longevity. As a result, efforts to have law dominate the international may be winning even when they appear to lose.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations