Is International Law Conducive to Prevent Looming Disasters?

28 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2015

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: July 28, 2015

Abstract

Looming disasters mostly require collective action but international law is traditionally consent based. For a state to be bound by international law, it needs to have ratified a treaty (e.g. concerning climate change) or must be bound by customary international law. This horizontal form of cooperation makes the system sensitive to collective action problems (like free-riding on global public good, overuse of commons, begging-thy-neighbor etc.). I explore the question of whether other forms of cooperation, e.g. cooperation through soft law or international organizations mitigate the problem and under what circumstances this might be so. Furthermore, international law design might need to take into account internal processes within states (breaking up the black-box) as well as behavioral economic insights. The paper will suggest some mechanisms to help prevent states overcoming the cooperation problem with regard to looming disasters and highlight their limits as well. It submits that international lawyers need to look at all behavioral mechanisms of international law in order to understand how it can be designed and used to prevent looming disasters.

Keywords: international law, collective action problems, forms of cooperation, internal processes within state, behavioral economics

Suggested Citation

van Aaken, Anne, Is International Law Conducive to Prevent Looming Disasters? (July 28, 2015). U. of St. Gallen Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2015-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2638812 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2638812

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

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
93
Abstract Views
532
rank
282,926
PlumX Metrics