David Bosco

David L. Bosco is an assistant professor at American University's School of International Service and author of Five to Rule Them All: The UN Security Council and the Making of the Modern World.

Recent Articles

Sovereign Myopia

American values of internationalism, the rule of law, and human rights are finally being enshrined in a permanent world court. So why is the United States leading the charge against it?

The United States delegation had just lost a crucial vote at the United Nations conference on an International Criminal Court (ICC), and to many ears the applause in the Rome conference room quickly took on a bitter edge. The American diplomats in the room sat quietly as the cheers rained down. Human rights activists continued cheering for long moments after other diplomats - perhaps sensing the awkwardness of the moment - stopped. Later that evening, when the draft statute for the court was approved by a vote of 120 to 7, the U.S. isolation became even more stark. The United States'sfew partners in opposition were almost all states traditionally on the receiving end of American broadsides for their disregard of human rights: Libya, China, Algeria, and Yemen. The sole U.S. ally opposed to the treaty was Israel (Qatar accounted for the final negative vote). When UN Secretary General Kofi Annan grandly brought the gavel down on the conference at a signing ceremony a few days later, the...