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The Limits of Leviathan: Contract Theory and the Enforcement of International Law

ISBN13: 9780521858465
ISBN: 0521858461
Published: August 2006
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £73.00
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9780521367974

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Much of international law, like much of contract, is enforced not by independent sanctions but rather through cooperative interaction among the parties, with repeat dealings, reputation and a preference for reciprocity doing most of the enforcement work. The Limits of Leviathan identifies the areas in international law where formal enforcement provides the most promising means of promoting cooperation, and where it does not.

In particular it looks at the International Criminal Court, the rules for world trade, efforts to enlist domestic courts to enforce orders of the International Court of Justice, domestic judicial enforcement of the Geneva Convention, the domain of international commercial agreements, and the question of odious debt incurred by sovereigns. This book explains how international law, like contract, depends largely on the willingness of responsible parties to make commitments.

  • First book to separate questions of international law enforcement from other issues of international law
  • The first to use modern contract theory - a product of law and economics - to illuminate the enforcement of international law
  • Proposes model of optimal international law enforcement

Public International Law
1. Introduction
2. States, firms, and the enforcement of international law
3. Lessons from contract theory
4. A model of optimal enforcement
5. Patterns of international law enforcement
6. The choice between formal and informal enforcement
7. The future of international law and its enforcement
Table of authorities