Human rights are considered one of the big ideas of the early twenty-first century. This book presents in an authoritative and readable form the variety of platforms on which human rights law is practiced today, reflecting also on the dynamic inter-relationships that exist between these various levels. The collection has a critical edge. The chapters engage with how human rights law has developed in its various subfields, what (if anything) has been achieved and at what cost, in terms of expected or produced unexpected side-effects. The authors pass judgment about the consistency, efficacy and success of human rights law (set against the standards of the field itself or other external goals). Written by world-class academics, this Companion will be essential reading for students and scholars of human rights lawThis intellectually rigorous introduction to international law encourages readers to engage with multiple aspects of the topic: as 'law' directing and shaping its subjects; as a technique for governing the world of states and beyond statehood; and as a framework within which several critical and constructivist projects are articulated. The articles situate international law in its historical and ideological context and examine core concepts such as sovereignty, jurisdiction and the state. Attention is also given to its operation within international institutions and in dispute settlement, and a separate section is devoted to international law's 'projects': protecting human rights, eradicating poverty, the conservation of resources, the regulation of international trade and investment and the establishment of international order. The diverse group of contributors draws from disciplinary orientations ranging from positivism to postmodernism to ensure that this book is informed theoretically and politically, as well as grounded in practice.