This essay examines U.S. attitudes toward the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. Part I characterizes different U.S. perspectives toward foreign policy and international law, noting how these different viewpoints shape attitudes toward U.S. acceptance of the Convention. Part II then compares three concerns that U.S. Convention opponents have raised (relating to navigational freedom, U.S. participation in international institutions, and U.S. leadership in international affairs) to the perspectives associated with of one of the several different foreign policy approaches. Many followers of historically-predominant U.S. foreign policy approaches do not share the concerns of Convention opponents. However, even if the U.S. does accept the Convention, views of Convention skeptics may well influence how the U.S. interprets the instrument and interacts with other States Parties.
John E. Noyes, U.S. Policy and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 39 GEO. WASH. INT’L L. REV. 621 (2007).