4 May 2010


Devika Hovell


This chapter from the book America and a Changed World: A Question of Leadership, seeks to analyse the extent to which the first year of the Obama presidency has marked a concrete shift in the United States' approach to international law and the United Nations.

The chapter begins with an assessment of the shortcomings of the Bush administration's approach to the international legal order. It then examines the extent to which the Obama administration can truly be said to have acted as a force for positive change in the relationship between the United States, international law and the United Nations during its first year in office. Despite President Obama's initial steps, much remains to be done for the United States to regain its position as a leader in the design and implementation of norms and rules of international law.