In an increasingly complex and interdependent world, states resort to a bewildering array of regulatory agreements to deal with problems as disparate as climate change, nuclear proliferation, international trade, satellite communications, species destruction, and intellectual property. In such a system, there must be some means of ensuring reasonably reliable performance of treaty obligations. The standard approach to this problem, by academics and politicians alike, is a search for treaties with "teeth"--military or economic sanctions to deter and punish violation.
The New Sovereignty argues that this approach is misconceived. Cases of coercive enforcement are rare, and sanctions are too costly and difficult to mobilize to be a reliable enforcement tool. As an alternative to this "enforcement" model, the authors propose a "managerial" model of treaty compliance. It relies on the elaboration and application of treaty norms in a continuing dialogue between the parties--international officials and nongovernmental organizations--that generates pressure to resolve problems of noncompliance. In the process, the norms and practices of the regime themselves evolve and develop.
The authors take a broad look at treaties in many different areas: arms control, human rights, labor, the environment, monetary policy, and trade. The extraordinary wealth of examples includes the Iran airbus shootdown, Libya's suit against Great Britain and the United States in the Lockerbie case, the war in Bosnia, and Iraq after the Gulf War.
The authors conclude that sovereignty--the status of a recognized actor in the international system--requires membership in good standing in the organizations and regimes through which the world manages its common affairs. This requirement turns out to be the major pressure for compliance with treaty obligations. This book will be an invaluable resource and casebook for scholars, policymakers, international public servants, lawyers, and corporate executives.
I have long known, from associating with some of them, that the best legal scholars can be especially unlawyerly in the way they think about agreements, negotiations, and compliance. The approach of Chayes and Chayes is in my favorite tradition: neither legalistic nor formalistic, but full of sophisticated good sense based on personal experience and historical scholarship. Theirs is an original--and actually upbeat--way of thinking about international agreements.
In their first joint publication, Harvard law professor Abram Chayes and his wife, former undersecretary of the Air Force and Harvard faculty member Antonia Handler Chayes, have produced a valuable contribution to the theory and practice of international regimes...Their book, a readable synthesis of international law and political science, is a valiant and coordinated attempt to answer Kenneth Oye's question: 'If international relations can approximate both a Hobbesian state of nature and Lockean...society, why does cooperation emerge in some cases and not in others?...One of the many strengths of this book is an analytical style that is at once legalistic (emphasizing the binding nature of obligations) and political (recognizing the influence of power relationships, economic expediency, and municipal politics). Such an approach is clearly an attempt to bridge the gap between international relations scholars and international lawyers, as well as between theoreticians and policymakers. The authors' understanding is as broad as it is deep.
This important book sets out to establish a more convincing theory of regime compliance. It begins with the observation that formal sanctions, whether military or economic, are usually ineffective and are always difficult to negotiate and implement. As a result, they are used sparingly and reluctantly to uphold regimes and cannot therefore carry the burden of achieving widespread adherence. Chayes and Chayes argue that coercion is not the primary instrument of compliance. In place of the standard 'enforcement model' they propose a 'managerial model' that is founded upon the mutual advantages of cooperation and upon the collective efforts of state bureaucracies and other actors to resolve problems through analysis and negotiation...This is a masterly analysis that deserves to become a standard work for both theorists and practitioners.
[This is] a most welcome contribution to the much needed scholarly and political discourse over the future shape of the international system and its legal order under the impact of globalization. It is clear from the findings of the book that the role and status of states will very much change and will give room to other actors in international affairs. In other words, we are experiencing a process of transformation of the international system from a predominantly interstate system to a more participatory system in which, besides states, various non-state actors will play a significant role also in the elaboration, application and enforcement of the international legal order...The refreshing pragmatism that pervades the whole book speaks in favor of opting for the authors' notion of 'New Sovereignty'. One could interpret the term as providing a bridge from the old to the new order, i.e. international (global) civil society. This challenging and stimulating book is a 'must' for scholars, students and practitioners alike.
- 417 pages
- 6-3/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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