Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1402965
 
 

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The Concept of Legalization


Kenneth W. Abbott


Arizona State University

Robert O. Keohane


Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Andrew Moravcsik


affiliation not provided to SSRN

Anne-Marie Slaughter


Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Duncan Snidal


University of Chicago

2000

International Organization, Vol. 54, p. 401, 2000

Abstract:     
We develop an empirically based conception of international legalization to show how law and politics are intertwined across a wide range of institutional forms and to frame the analytic and empirical articles that follow in this volume. International legalization is a form of institutionalization characterized by three dimensions: obligation, precision, and delegation. Obligation means that states are legally bound by rules or commitments and therefore subject to the general rules and procedures of international law. Precision means that the rules are definite, unambiguously defining the conduct they require, authorize, or proscribe. Delegation grants authority to third parties for the implementation of rules, including their interpretation and application, dispute settlement, and (possibly) further rule making. These dimensions are conceptually independent, and each is a matter of degree and gradation. Their various combinations produce a remarkable variety of international legalization. We illustrate a continuum ranging from "hard" legalization (characteristically associated with domestic legal systems) through various forms of "soft" legalization to situations where law is largely absent. Most international legalization lies between the extremes, where actors combine and invoke varying degrees of obligation, precision, and delegation to create subtle blends of politics and law.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 19

Keywords: International law, International relations, Legalization

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Date posted: May 18, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Abbott, Kenneth W. and Keohane, Robert O. and Moravcsik, Andrew and Slaughter, Anne-Marie and Snidal, Duncan, The Concept of Legalization (2000). International Organization, Vol. 54, p. 401, 2000. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1402965

Contact Information

Kenneth Wayne Abbott (Contact Author)
Arizona State University ( email )
Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
480-965-5917 (Phone)
Robert O. Keohane
Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
Andrew Moravcsik
affiliation not provided to SSRN
Anne-Marie Slaughter
Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
609-258-4800 (Phone)
Duncan Snidal
University of Chicago ( email )
1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
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