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How International Law WorksA Rational Choice Theory$
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Andrew Guzman

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195305562

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305562.001.0001

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 International Agreements

 International Agreements

(p.119) 4 International Agreements
How International Law Works

Andrew T Guzman (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the most important source of international law – the international agreement. It first explains why it is appropriate to think of states as being risk neutral rather than risk averse in the context of international law. It then explores the choice states make between various design features in their international agreements, including the choice between hard and soft law, the presence or absence of dispute resolution, the use of reservations, escape clauses, and exit clauses. The trade‐off between form and substance in agreements is also explained, as is the manner in which membership rules are developed.

Keywords:   international agreements, treaties, soft law, risk neutral, risk averse, substance, form, credibility, reservations, escape, exit, scope, design of agreements

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