Bruce Cronin

Position: Professor of Political Science
Campus Affiliation: City College of New York
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. Columbia University
Research Interests: International law, human rights, international organization
Prof. Cronin is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Human Rights Program at the City College of New York. Cronin’s specialties are in the fields of international law, international organizations, and human rights. His most recent book is, Purging the Odious Scourge of Atrocities: The Limits of Consent in International Law, (Oxford University Press, 2023). He is currently working on a project examining the issues associated with international law and military aggression.


Bugsplat: The Politics of Collateral Damage in Western Armed Conflicts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018)
Explains why states who are committed to the principle of civilian immunity and the protection of noncombatants end up killing and injuring large numbers of civilians during their military operations. It does so through an in-depth examination of five conflicts fought by Western powers since 1989. Cronin argues that despite the efforts of Western military organizations to comply with the laws of armed conflict, the level of collateral damage is the inevitable outcome of the strategies and methods through which their armies fight wars. In this sense, collateral damage in Western-fought wars is largely both foreseeable and preventable.
UNSC politicsBruce Cronin and Ian Hurd, The UN Security Council and the Politics of International Authority (Routledge, 2008)
Observes how the growth of the political authority of the Council challenges the basic idea that states have legal autonomy over their domestic affairs. The individual essays survey the implications that flow from these developments in the crucial policy areas of: terrorism; economic sanctions; the prosecution of war crimes; human rights; humanitarian intervention; and the use of force. In each of these areas, the evidence shows a complex and fluid relation between state sovereignty, the power of the United Nations, and the politics of international legitimation. Demonstrating how world politics has come to accommodate the contradictory institutions of international authority and international anarchy, this book makes an important contribution to how we understand and study international organizations and international law. Written by leading experts in the field, this volume will be of strong interest to students and scholars of international relations, international organizations, international law and global governance.
institutions for the common goodBruce Cronin, Institutions for the Common Good: International Protection Regimes in International Society (Cambridge University Press, 2003).
Bruce Cronin develops a theory that links international stability with progress in building a cohesive international order. He examines how states attempt to provide for international stability by creating International Protection Regimes–multilateral institutions designed to protect clearly defined classes of people within sovereign states. Cronin argues that, in the aftermath of major systemic changes, states try to create international orders by regulating the relationship between governments and their populations, particularly in newly formed and reorganized states.
community under anarchyBruce Cronin, Community Under Anarchy (Columbia University Press, 1999).
How do states distinguish friends from enemies, partners from competitors, and communities from outsiders?Community Under Anarchy shows how the development of common social identities among political elites can lead to deeper, more cohesive forms of cooperation than what has been previously envisioned by traditional theories of international relations. Drawing from recent advances in social theory and constructivist approaches, Bruce Cronin demonstrates how these cohesive structures evolve from a series of discrete events and processes that help to diminish the conceptual boundaries dividing societies.
Community Under Anarchy supports this thesis through a new and original interpretation of the Concert of Europe, the Holy Alliance, and the political integration of Italy and Germany. In the wake of the upheavals created by the French Revolution and the revolutions of 1848, political elites helped to validate new forms of governance by creating transnational reference groups from which they could draw legitimacy. As a result, European states were able to overcome the polarizing effects of anarchy and create a concert system, a common security association, and two amalgamated security communities. The empirical cases demonstrate how socially derived identities can shape state preferences and create new roles for state leaders.
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