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5 - Reputation, compliance and development

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 July 2009

George W. Downs
Affiliation:
Dean of Social Science and Professor Department of Politics, New York University
Michael A. Jones
Affiliation:
Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences Montclair State University, New Jersey
Eyal Benvenisti
Affiliation:
Tel-Aviv University
Moshe Hirsch
Affiliation:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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Summary

Introduction

Many international relations and international legal theorists believe that the concern a state has for its reputation as a reliable treaty partner provides the key to understanding the evolution of multilateral cooperation in the international system. Even in situations with considerable incentives to defect and unavailable reciprocal and institutional sanctions, the prospect of exclusion from future agreements and/or having participation in current agreements discounted suffices to insure compliance.

These theorists tend to find the process by which reputation operates to promote compliance normatively attractive as well. It is considered less coercive than either reciprocal or institutional sanctions, and requires far lower transaction costs than more institutionalized alternatives, such as a multilateral organization's dispute resolution process. Perhaps most importantly, reputational recalibration promises to operate more democratically than other enforcement mechanisms. While large developed states may be politically insulated from institutional sanctions by the multilateral organizations that they dominate and may be invulnerable economically to reciprocal sanctions from weaker developing states, they cannot so easily escape the consequences of their own reputations. Yet despite these attractive features, reputation is more often viewed as an enemy than as a friend of developing states. In general, developing states have poorer compliance records than developed states – records that may well worsen before they improve, as multilateral agreements promise to proliferate more quickly than developing state economies improve.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Impact of International Law on International Cooperation
Theoretical Perspectives
, pp. 117 - 133
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2004

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  • Reputation, compliance and development
    • By George W. Downs, Dean of Social Science and Professor Department of Politics, New York University, Michael A. Jones, Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences Montclair State University, New Jersey
  • Edited by Eyal Benvenisti, Tel-Aviv University, Moshe Hirsch, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Book: The Impact of International Law on International Cooperation
  • Online publication: 06 July 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511494147.005
Available formats
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To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

  • Reputation, compliance and development
    • By George W. Downs, Dean of Social Science and Professor Department of Politics, New York University, Michael A. Jones, Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences Montclair State University, New Jersey
  • Edited by Eyal Benvenisti, Tel-Aviv University, Moshe Hirsch, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Book: The Impact of International Law on International Cooperation
  • Online publication: 06 July 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511494147.005
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Reputation, compliance and development
    • By George W. Downs, Dean of Social Science and Professor Department of Politics, New York University, Michael A. Jones, Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences Montclair State University, New Jersey
  • Edited by Eyal Benvenisti, Tel-Aviv University, Moshe Hirsch, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Book: The Impact of International Law on International Cooperation
  • Online publication: 06 July 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511494147.005
Available formats
×