In this article I will present an alternative explanation which differs from both these traditional ones, and which defends the independent status and the relevance of international law. As I will argue, twentieth-century concepts like 'realism' and 'idealism' fit badly with these early modern discussions and they obscure the real issues at stake. The reason is that the early modern era was a time of state creation? a time when state identities were being formed? and at such times legal considerations are likely to play a different role than at times when state identities can be taken for granted. Although national interests may not bow to legal requirements, legal requirements are crucial when it comes to creating and sustaining a national identity. There are, to wit, two features of the law which contribute to this end: the law gives substantive content to the actions that political entities perform, but in addition, it also provides a standard by which political entities may be recognized as entities of a certain kind.
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- Starter TOEIC Third Edition
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