In the Search of International Homo Economicus: Individual Agency and Rationality in Global Governance
19 Finnish Yearbook of International Law (2008 [published 2010])
31 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2013
Date Written: June 20, 2010
This paper seeks to explore the role of individual agency in global governance. To do so, it deploys two strategies. First, it discusses international law and economics, tries to unearth the premises behind such economic approach to international law, and maps its connections to (and divergences with) traditional law and economics, on one hand, and realism in international relations, on the other.The second strategy is to explore the place of the individual in international law. Joining these two paths, this paper argues that international law seems to overlook human agency, as it fails to understand the individual as anything beyond a helpless entity in need of protection from global governance institutions.The link between human nature and global governance is thus severed. As a result, recent eff orts to re-legalize global governance (such as global constitutionalism or the global administrative law project) seem to fall into quarrels regarding the best plan to defend human rights, without giving much thought to the humans of those rights.
Keywords: homo economicus, global governance, international law
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