About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

41 Vand. J. Transnat'l L. 1307 (2008)
The Un-Exceptionalism of U.S. Exceptionalism

handle is hein.journals/vantl41 and id is 1319 raw text is: The         Un-Exceptionalism                          of U.S.
Sabrina Safrin*
This Article challenges the prevailing view that the United
States  acts  exceptionally  by   examining   the   insufficiently
considered legal exceptionalism of other countries. It puts U.S.
exceptionalism   in   perspective   by   identifying   European
exceptionalism    as   well  as   noting    developing   country
exceptionalism, pointing to the exceptional rules sought by the
European Union and by developing countries in numerous
international agreements and institutions. It argues that most
nations seek different international rules for themselves when
they perceive themselves to have an exceptional need. Indeed, in
cases of exceptional need, numerous countries believe themselves
entitled to exceptional legal accommodation and may even
perceive other countries' unwillingness to accommodate their
needs as unfair. Requests for special treatment even exhibit a
This Article concludes by suggesting that the present
emphasis on U.S. legal exceptionalism is overstated at best,
misguided and even dangerous at worst. Furthermore, having
shown that most nations seek exceptional legal accommodation,
or double standards, in certain situations, it identifies some
parameters    for  future   work   on   the  proper   place   for
exceptionalism in international law.
* Professor of Law, Rutgers Law School, Newark; J.D., University of California,
Berkeley; B.A., Pomona College. Many thanks to Jeremy Hirsh, Orde Kittrie, Greg
Mark, Saul Mendolovitz, George Thomas III, Peter Spiro, and Carlos Manuel Vazquez
for their suggestions and incisive comments on earlier drafts. I thank Mandee Lee,
Ketan Pastakia, Paulo Santos, and Cynthia Zhang for their excellent research
assistance. This Article received support from the Dean's Scholarship fund.


What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing thousands of academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.

Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline.

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most