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Rational Choice or Deliberation? Customary International Law between Coordination and Constitutionalization

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  • Niels Petersen

Abstract

Rational-choice approaches have gained in prominence in recent years. However, by focusing on behavioral equilibria, they can only explain phenomena of traditional customary law, which is mainly identified by an analysis of state practice. International legal scholarship increasingly reverts to interpretative methods of identifying unwritten norms, though - e.g., in the fields of human rights and global public goods. This contribution analyzes whether such approaches are just idealist pipe dreams or whether the concerned principles have legal normativity. It offers a constructivist explanation and claims that limiting one's focus to the aspect of norm compliance neglects the dynamic dimension of law.

Suggested Citation

  • Niels Petersen, 2009. "Rational Choice or Deliberation? Customary International Law between Coordination and Constitutionalization," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 165(1), pages 71-85, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200903)165:1_71:rcodci_2.0.tx_2-d
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bohnet, Iris & Cooter, Robert, 2001. "Expressive Law: Framing or Equilibrium Selection?," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt5h6970h8, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Justina A.V. Fischer & Frank Somogyi, 2009. "Globalization and Protection of Employment," KOF Working papers 09-238, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    2. Fischer, Justina A.V., 2012. "The choice of domestic policies in a globalized economy," Papers 306, World Trade Institute.
    3. Christoph Engel & Urs Schweizer, 2009. "Editorial Preface," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 165(1), pages 1-4, March.
    4. Marco Verweij, 2009. "Is International Customary Law Coordinated, Constructed, or Contested?. Comment," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 165(1), pages 95-98, March.
    5. Joel P. Trachtman, 2009. "Rational Choice and Deliberation. Comment," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 165(1), pages 90-94, March.
    6. Fischer, Justina A.V., 2012. "The choice of domestic policies in a globalized economy: Extended Version," MPRA Paper 37816, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K33 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - International Law

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