Abstract 2014/1 p. 15

This article analyzes the position of the United States with respect to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, as modified by the 1994 Part XI Implementation Agreement. Part I of the article surveys efforts to achieve US accession to the UNCLOS, efforts that to date have been unsuccessful despite widespread support for the Convention in the United States. Part II examines themes emerging from proposed US UNCLOS understandings and declarations, which highlight areas of US sensitivity about the Convention. In Part III, the article conceptualizes the different attitudes toward foreign relations and international law in the United States in order to explain US resistance to the Convention. Finally, Part IV analyzes the current US legal position with respect to UNCLOS issues, notes adverse consequences for the United States should it remain a nonparty to the Convention, and assesses prospects for eventual US accession.

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