Since the advent of state sovereignty with the Peace of Westphalia, powerful Western nations have determined and applied international law in a manner that advance their national interests. In short, the international legal process has been a mechanism of hegemony, and powerful Western nations have been hegemons through this process over less-developed countries. Since the 1990s, however, the fall of the Soviet Union, the spread of technology, and the advent of multinational corporations have led to a new order wherein corporate capitalism has become a primary force in international law and states mostly serve corporate interests. This new order was seen in action in Libya, where Muammar Gaddafi was recently overthrown by rebels who received aid from Western organizations, mostly because of Gaddafi’s unreliable history of partnering with Western corporations.
Upendra D. Acharya, Globalization and Hegemony Shift: Are States Merely Agents of Corporate Capitalism?, 54 B.C.L. Rev. 937 (2013), http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/bclr/vol54/iss3/5