Shared Responsibilities in International Law: A Political Economy Analysis

André Nollkaemper and Dov Jacobs (eds.), Distribution of Responsibilities in International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2015 Forthcoming)

U. of St. Gallen Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2014-04

37 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2014 Last revised: 21 Sep 2014

See all articles by Anne van Aaken

Anne van Aaken

University of Hamburg, Law School; Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Date Written: March 5, 2014

Abstract

Problems which can only be resolved through international cooperation are increasing. Due to this increase, states cooperate more than ever with each other and with international organizations (IOs) but often insufficiently to solve the problems. When social scientists analyze the potential for cooperation on global public goods, they focus on the benefits from cooperation and on the game theoretic structures under which cooperation may arise; they have until now, however, neglected to study state responsibility as a sanctioning mechanism and especially its different forms of apportionment when responsibility is shared.

I submit that this is a crucial variable for understanding why cooperation arises since it impacts the propensity to cooperate in the first place. Different rules of apportionment under Art. 47 Draft Articles on State Responsibility lead to different cooperative outcomes. Taking into account other goals of state responsibility such as compensation and prevention of harm, it is possible via game theory to construct an optimal apportionment of responsibility in situations of shared responsibility. In principle, independent responsibility, the current general principle, is worst for the propensity to cooperate, proportional responsibility best and joint and several liability lies in the middle of the extremes, although it is best from a compensatory perspective.

Keywords: international Law, state responsibility, shared responsibility, international public goods, cooperation, game theory

JEL Classification: K33, K42

Suggested Citation

van Aaken, Anne, Shared Responsibilities in International Law: A Political Economy Analysis (March 5, 2014). André Nollkaemper and Dov Jacobs (eds.), Distribution of Responsibilities in International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2015 Forthcoming); U. of St. Gallen Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2014-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2404909 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2404909

Anne Van Aaken (Contact Author)

University of Hamburg, Law School ( email )

Johnsallee 35
Hamburg, 20148
Germany

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

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