International Environmental Law and Emotional Rational Choice
This paper considers how emotions can foster compliance by rational actors with international environmental law. Many environmental issues are highly emotionally charged. Both supporters and opponents of international environmental law often feel very strongly about their positions and views. A psychological game-theoretic model focuses on the disciplinary role that losing face may play in compliance with international environmental law. This model implies that noncompliance, especially by high-profile international actors, should be highly and swiftly publicized on detection and verification. The model also explains why actors care so much about soft, that is, nonbinding international environmental law, such as international environmental declarations, protocols, or resolutions. Copyright 2002 by the University of Chicago.
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