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.
Joel Trachtman is to be heartily congratulated for The Economic Structure of International Law. In this pioneering study, he deftly deploys social scientific analysis to illuminate core structural questions about the international legal order. Throughout, one sees the rich and wise understanding of international law as well as the deep scrupulousness about both tools and data that have always characterized Trachtman's scholarship.
An important new contribution to both the theoretical and practical approach to international law.
Trachtman presents a scholarly and coherent economic analysis of international law as well as a useful methodology.
Trachtman reframes the international legal field through economic analysis and public choice theory. Focusing on jurisdiction, norm generation, and institutional form, he returns to the most fundamental structural issues of the international legal order, viewing them anew by applying and extending analytic tools developed by law and economics scholars. Comprehensive, imaginative, and provocative.
It is impressive that Trachtman, who is thoroughly learned in the law, is also highly competent in the relevant portions of economics and political science. The Economic Structure of International Law should help to set a standard for the systematic use of social science in the analysis of international law.
Joel Trachtman presents a painstaking review of economic approaches to understanding international relations theory and international law...The history of international law theory consists of a debate in which the pendulum has swung between the natural law theorists and the positivists. Trachtman's achievement is to show that even on the terms of positivists or rational choice theorists, the notion that states act according to their self-interest is not sufficient to establish that customary international law is not binding on states so acting: self-interest cannot justify everything. This is important...It may be hoped that Trachtman's work will help weigh the pendulum more heavily in favor of compliance with international law.
Neither political scientists nor economists have known enough about law to show how a rational–institutional analysis would relate to various technical rules and specific practices of international law, as Trachtman does. It is impressive that Trachtman, who is thoroughly learned in the law, is also highly competent in the relevant portions of economics and political science. The Economic Structure of International Law should help to set a standard for the systematic use of social science in the analysis of international law.
Perhaps the most commendable aspect of the book is its breadth. It provides a solid overview of international law, covers a large number of economic methodologies, and manages to combine the two in a way that creates an original argument without being repetitive or confusing...The book is rich with examples of where international law works and where it fails to induce compliance and align results with preferences.
- 368 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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