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How International Law Works – A Rational Choice Theory - Oxford Scholarship Online
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How International Law Works: A Rational Choice Theory

Andrew Guzman


Applying rational-choice theory to international law and international relations, this book offers a comprehensive theory of the subject, how it operates, and why it works. Taking as a starting point that states comply only when it is in their self‐interest to do so, the book demonstrates that international law nevertheless supports cooperation among states. This book develops a theory of international law to explain how concerns about reciprocal non‐compliance, retaliation, and reputation discourage states from violating their international legal commitments. By building a theory from the gro ... More

Keywords: international law, coercive enforcement, reciprocity, prisoner's dilemma, tribunals, risk, international relations, rational‐choice theory

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780195305562
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305562.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Andrew Guzman, author
University of California, Berkeley
Author Webpage