Rational Choice Theory and International Law: Insights and Limitations
Posted: 8 Nov 2002
Rational choice theory has been valuable in the study of international law in five ways:
1) as a basis for skepticism about talk and action; 2) as a menu of causal mechanisms; 3) as a way of explaining specific puzzles; 4) as part of an explanation of legal and political phenomena; and 5) as the basis for generating further puzzles for research.
It does not, however, provide a comprehensive explanation of international law and politics. Those who apply it need to be aware of its limitations as well as of its value.
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