Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 July 2009
The subject of compliance with international norms has recently attracted significant attention of scholars from both the international law and international relations disciplines. The former, rather skeptical attitude of many scholars regarding the compliance of states with international law has largely shifted to a more favorable appraisal. The widespread view in the current literature embraces the famous statement of Louis Henkin that “almost all nations observe almost all principles of international law and almost all of their obligations almost all of the time.” Less preoccupied with the question of how much compliance, scholars now pose the more intriguing question of why compliance is prevalent in the international community. This question challenges scholars of international law and international relations to identify the major factors that motivate states to observe or violate their international obligations.
The process of globalization raises numerous questions for social scientists regarding the ramifications of this phenomenon in a variety of spheres, including international law and international relations. The principal aim of this chapter is to analyze the likely repercussions of the process of globalization upon compliance with international norms. More precisely, the central question here is whether globalization is expected to enhance or lessen compliance with international norms (assuming that the process of globalization proceeds).
The answer to this important question is dependent to a significant measure upon the answer provided to the above question regarding the factors that affect compliance with international norms.