Cover: The New Sovereignty: Compliance with International Regulatory Agreements, from Harvard University PressCover: The New Sovereignty in PAPERBACK

The New Sovereignty

Compliance with International Regulatory Agreements

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$47.00 • £37.95 • €42.50

ISBN 9780674617834

Publication Date: 10/01/1998


417 pages

6-3/8 x 9-1/4 inches


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.—Thomas C. Schelling, author of The Strategy of Conflict

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.—Noah Rubins, The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs

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.—William Walker, International Affairs

[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.—Jost Delbrück, German Yearbook of International Law

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