How International Law Works: A Rational Choice Theory

Paperback | April 26, 2010

byAndrew T. Guzman

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How International Law Works presents a theory of international law, how it operates, and why it works. Though appeals to international law have grown ever more central to international disputes and international relations, there is no well-developed, comprehensive theory of how internationallaw shapes policy outcomes.Filling a conspicuous gap in the literature on international law, Andrew T. Guzman builds a coherent theory from the ground up and applies it to the foundations of the international legal system. Using tools from across the social sciences Guzman deploys a rational choice methodology to explain howa legal system can succeed in the absence of coercive enforcement. He demonstrates how even rational and selfish states are motivated by concerns about reciprocal non-compliance, retaliation, and reputation to comply with their international legal commitments.Contradicting the conventional view of the subject among international legal scholars, Guzman argues that the primary sources of international commitment - formal treaties, customary international law, soft law, and even international norms - must be understood as various points on a spectrum ofcommitment rather than wholly distinct legal structures.Taking a rigorous and theoretically sound look at international law, How International Law Works provides an in-depth, thoroughgoing guide to the complexities of international law, offers guidance to those managing relations among nations, and helps us to understand when we can look to internationallaw to resolve problems, and when we must accept that we live in an anarchic world in which some issues can be resolved only through politics.

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How International Law Works presents a theory of international law, how it operates, and why it works. Though appeals to international law have grown ever more central to international disputes and international relations, there is no well-developed, comprehensive theory of how internationallaw shapes policy outcomes.Filling a conspicu...

Andrew T. Guzman is Professor of Law and Director of the International Legal Studies Program at Boalt Hall School of Law, at the University of California, Berkeley. He has written extensively on international trade, international regulatory matters, foreign direct investment and public international law and has published in law, econo...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 0.71 inPublished:April 26, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199739285

ISBN - 13:9780199739288

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Table of Contents

1. IntroductionInternational Law at WorkMethodologyCompliance and Effectiveness in International LawThe Scope of the Book2. A General Theory of International LawGames States PlayThe Three Rs of ComplianceInternational Tribunals and State ResponsibilityPayoffs and Strategies Over TimeModulating the Level of CommitmentCoercion and International AgreementsMultilateral Cooperation3. ReputationHow Reputation is Gained and LostManaging Reputation Over TimeThe Role of InformationThe Compartmentalizing of ReputationLimits and Caveats4. International AgreementsWhy Do States Make Agreements?Matters of FormThe Interaction of Form and SubstanceThe Scope of AgreementsMembership in International AgreementsConclusion5. Customary International LawThe Traditional Definition of CILRational Choice CriticsCompliance and CILOpinio JurisState PracticeAn Example of CIL: Pacta Sunt ServandaCIL and Other International Law6. Understanding International LawNotesBibliographyIndex