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From the Publisher'This book is important because it tackles the most fundamental questions confronting policy makers in international politics: can compliance with international agreements be obtained in decentralized social systems with no central authority? Young's work is rich and complex and goes much beyond the mostly normative and simplistic analyses of compliance in international relations that have been produced in the past.'
American Political Science Review
'This is an important work that should be read by a broad spectrum of social scientists and legal philosophers. [The author] focuses on the issue of compliance with the behavioral prescriptions of societies (rules, laws, standards, norms, contracts, and agreements). He treats compliance as a matter of choice, with violation always a possible alternative. He develops the argument precisely and rigorously, chooses his labels carefully, and juxtaposes this perspective against others... It is must reading.'
Arthur Stein, UCLA
'In a provocative and cogently reasoned essay, Young observes that non-compliance may no greater be a problem in the international system that it is in domestic systems. He would largely transform scholarly focus from a fixation on problems of enforcement to an examination of the scope, personal considerations, and social forces that lead to compliance... On the basis of insights gleaned from a very thorough survey of the literature and the case studies, he reconsiders some of the problems of compliance, observing that a binary choice is rarely involved, that normative generality and situational variety often permit multiple ways of complying, and that compliance vel non is not always easy to access scientifically.'
American Journal of International Law
'... The appropriate adjectives for Compliance and Public Authority include 'original', 'integrative, and 'invigorating'... [Young] offer[s] crisp, candid insights into the what and why of major research contributions from the disciplines across which compliance is relevant. Examples from political science, philosophy, law, economics, public choice, decision theory, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and international relations are succinctly invoked to identify common threads of otherwise differentiated fields. If the task is not exhaustively executed, it is nonetheless a constructive and essential step toward developing, testing, and synthesizing mature theories of compliance.'
Annals of the American Academy of Political Science