Table of Contents

The Political Economy of International Law

The Political Economy of International Law

A European Perspective

Edited by Alberta Fabbricotti

Set in the context of growing interdisciplinarity in legal research, The Political Economy of International Law: A European Perspective provides a much-needed systematic and coherent review of the interactions between Political Economy and International Law. The book reflects the need felt by international lawyers to open their traditional frontiers to insights from other disciplines - and political economy in particular. The methodological approach of the book is to take the traditional list of topics for a general treatise of international law, and to systematically incorporate insights from political economy to each.

Chapter 2: The Political Economy of Customary International Law

Niels Petersen

Subjects: economics and finance, political economy, law - academic, european law, public international law, politics and public policy, european politics and policy, international relations, political economy


The Chapter deals with the economic analysis of customary international law. It aims to give an overview of the different approaches discussed in the literature and to highlight the virtues and the limits of social science analysis of customary international law. First, it discusses the formation of customary law and examines under which conditions customary norms evolve. The formation of customary international law is analysed from two perspectives. On the one hand, the Chapter takes a look at rational choice approaches explaining the formation of patterns of State conduct. On the other hand, it gives a brief introduction into the political economy of international judges, i.e. their strategies when identifying customary norms. Second, it addresses research on the effectiveness of customary international law, where it compares rational choice explanations with constructivist approaches.

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