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2010

International Law

Articles

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

International Soft Law, Andrew T. Guzman, Timothy L. Meyer Mar 2010

International Soft Law, Andrew T. Guzman, Timothy L. Meyer

Timothy Meyer

Although the concept of soft law has existed for years, scholars have not reached consensus on why states use soft law or even whether “soft law” is a meaningful analytic category. In part, this confusion reflects a deep diversity both in the types of international agreements that states employ, and in the strategic situations that produce these agreements. In this paper, we advance four complementary explanations for why states use soft law. Our explanations account for a much broader range of state behavior than the existing literature is able to explain.

First, and least significantly, states may use soft law ...


Power, Exit Costs, And Renegotiation In International Law, Timothy L. Meyer Dec 2009

Power, Exit Costs, And Renegotiation In International Law, Timothy L. Meyer

Timothy Meyer

Scholars have long understood that the instability of power has ramifications for compliance with international law. Scholars have not, however, focused on how states’ expectations about shifting power affect the initial design of international agreements. In this paper, I integrate shifting power into an analysis of the initial design of both the formal and substantive aspects of agreements. I argue that a state expecting to become more powerful over time incurs an opportunity cost by agreeing to formal provisions that raise the cost of exiting an agreement. Exit costs – which promote the stability of legal rules – have distributional implications. Before ...