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The Economic Structure of International Law

The Economic Structure of International Law

Joel P. Trachtman

ISBN 9780674030985

Publication date: 11/01/2008

The Economic Structure of International Law presents a rationalist analysis of the structure of international law. It employs social scientific techniques to develop an understanding of the role of law in international society. In doing so, it delves into the question of compliance and reveals the real-world circumstances under which states might adhere to or violate international law.

Joel P. Trachtman explores such topics as treaty-making and jurisdiction; the rise, stability, and efficiency of custom; the establishment of international organizations; and the structure and role of international legal dispute settlement. At the core of the book lies the question of the allocation of legal power to states. The Economic Structure of International Law presents policymakers and scholars with an over-arching analytical model of international law, one that demonstrates the potential of international law, but also explains how policymakers should choose among different international legal structures.


  • The Economic Structure of International Law is an elegantly and clearly argued contribution to the burgeoning literature connecting social science and international law. Trachtman has a true gift of demystifying jargon and explaining complicated concepts in ways that will be valuable for legal scholars and law students alike.

    —Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs, Princeton University


  • Joel P. Trachtman is Professor of International Law, The Fletcher School, Tufts University.

Book Details

  • 368 pages
  • 1 x 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press