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Comment: Norms, Institutions, and Cooperation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 May 2010

Robert O. Keohane
Affiliation:
Professor of International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
Keith E. Maskus
Affiliation:
University of Colorado, Boulder
Jerome H. Reichman
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina
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Summary

I am neither an economist nor an expert on intellectual property rights. Instead, I am a student of world politics. The responsibility for my being a commentator rests entirely with the editors of this volume!

What little I have to say relates mostly to Peter Drahos' very interesting chapter, since he refers to the “…imperfections of global institutions to regulate activity involving production of public goods.” Paul David's chapter alludes to certain problems that arise internationally – in competition between the United States and the European Union, and with respect to developing countries. To that extent, my comments are relevant to his fascinating contribution as well.

Distinctive problems of the world political economy

In the background of both chapters is a set of problems having to do with politics at the global level, which are characterized by a lack of effective comprehensive government and a fragmentation of law. Five problems can be singled out as particularly important.

  1. Incentives are not well-designed for efficiency. The issue of incentives is at the heart of this volume. Internationally, there are often incentives for actors to externalize the costs of their actions on those outside of their countries or economic unions. Actors also have incentives to free-ride on the accomplishments of others, unrestrained by government action.

  2. Institutions at the global level are weak. Their rulings are often not authoritative in a meaningful, operational sense.

  3. […]

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Chapter

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  • Comment: Norms, Institutions, and Cooperation
    • By Robert O. Keohane, Professor of International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Edited by Keith E. Maskus, University of Colorado, Boulder, Jerome H. Reichman, Duke University, North Carolina
  • Book: International Public Goods and Transfer of Technology Under a Globalized Intellectual Property Regime
  • Online publication: 05 May 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511494529.004
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  • Comment: Norms, Institutions, and Cooperation
    • By Robert O. Keohane, Professor of International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Edited by Keith E. Maskus, University of Colorado, Boulder, Jerome H. Reichman, Duke University, North Carolina
  • Book: International Public Goods and Transfer of Technology Under a Globalized Intellectual Property Regime
  • Online publication: 05 May 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511494529.004
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save 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 saving content to Google Drive.

  • Comment: Norms, Institutions, and Cooperation
    • By Robert O. Keohane, Professor of International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Edited by Keith E. Maskus, University of Colorado, Boulder, Jerome H. Reichman, Duke University, North Carolina
  • Book: International Public Goods and Transfer of Technology Under a Globalized Intellectual Property Regime
  • Online publication: 05 May 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511494529.004
Available formats
×