Economic Foundations of International Law

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Overview

The ever-increasing exchange of goods and ideas among nations, as well as cross-border pollution, global warming, and international crime, pose urgent questions for international law. Here, two respected scholars provide an intellectual framework for assessing these pressing legal problems from a rational choice perspective.

The approach assumes that states are rational, forward-looking agents which use international law to address the actions of other states that may have consequences for their own citizens, and to obtain the benefits of international cooperation. It further assumes that in the absence of a central enforcement agency—that is, a world government—international law must be self-enforcing. States must believe that if they violate international agreements, other states will retaliate.

Consequently, Eric A. Posner and Alan O. Sykes devote considerable attention to the challenges of enforcing international law, which begin with the difficulties of determining what it is. In the absence of an international constitution, the sources for international law are vague. Lawyers must rely on statements contained in all manner of official documents and on simple observation of states’ behavior. This looseness leads international institutions such as the United Nations to deliver conflicting interpretations of the law’s most basic principles. The authors describe the conditions under which international law succeeds or fails, across a wide range of issues, including war crimes, human rights, international criminal law, principles of state responsibility, law of the sea, international trade regulation, and international investment law.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674066991
  • Publisher: Harvard
  • Publication date: 1/1/2013
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,458,329
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric A. Posner is Kirkland and Ellis Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School.

Alan O. Sykes is Robert A. Kindler Professor of Law at New York University School of Law.

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Table of Contents

I Basics

1 Introduction 3

2 Fundamentals of International Law 6

3 Economic Analysis of International Law-the Essentials 12

II General Aspects of International Law

4 Sovereignty and Attributes of Statehood 39

5 Customary International Law 50

6 Treaties 63

7 International Institutions 79

8 State Responsibility 113

9 Remedies 126

10 The Intersection between International Law and Domestic Law 139

III Traditional Public International Law

11 Treatment of Aliens, Foreign Property, and Foreign Debt 155

12 The Use of Force 163

13 The Conduct of War 190

14 Human Rights 198

15 International Criminal Law 209

IV The Environment

16 International Environmental Law 225

17 The Law of the Sea 233

V International Economic Law

18 International Trade 263

19 International Investment, Antitrust, and Monetary Law 288

Notes 329

Acknowledgments 355

Index 357

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