Footnotes (62)



Can Legalization Last? Whaling and the Durability of National (Executive) Discretion

John K. Setear

University of Virginia - School of Law

Virginia Journal of International Law, 2004

Legal academics and international-relations scholars have recently undertaken a great deal of interdisciplinary work on the interaction of international law and world politics. One framework for such analysis, developed at length in the Summer 2000 issue of International Organization, emphasizes three characteristics of legalization: (1) degree of formal legal obligation, (2) precision of rules, and (3) amount of authority delegated to a neutral, non-state decision-maker.

International whaling reflects a high-high-low configuration of these three variables, respectively. Most analyses of legalization ignore this configuration of variables despite its pervasiveness.

An examination of the whaling regime shows that the high-high-low configuration of variables has been highly stable, despite dramatic changes in a wide variety of other variables in the whaling regime (such as membership, breadth of regulation, and the stringency of regulation) and pressure in the US (involving both litigation and legislative action) to move towards a higher-delegation regime. The pervasiveness and stability of the high-high-low configuration in the face of these changes and pressures argues for much closer attention to this form of legalization by scholars. Given the amount of power that this form of legalization grants to the national executive, the stability of the high-high-low configuration for an international legal regime also implies that executive branches will retain a near-monopoly on policy-making in regimes that initially display this configuration.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 30

Keywords: whaling, IR theory, legalization, public choice, world politics

Accepted Paper Series

Download This Paper

Date posted: February 16, 2004  

Suggested Citation

Setear, John K., Can Legalization Last? Whaling and the Durability of National (Executive) Discretion. Virginia Journal of International Law, 2004. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=501482

Contact Information

John K. Setear (Contact Author)
University of Virginia - School of Law ( email )
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
434-924-7354 (Phone)
434-924-7536 (Fax)

Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,177
Downloads: 99
Download Rank: 157,945
Footnotes:  62

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo8 in 0.250 seconds