Sovereign States Behaviour

The international system of provinces is lawless in construction, it comprises of crowned head provinces that are non controlled by any centralized higher authorization. However there is a demand to make an orderly, predictable and stable international environment to forestall struggle between the autonomous provinces and to ease mutuality to the benefit of all autonomous provinces within the international system.

Many bookmans advocate the usage of international jurisprudence to accomplish this aim. International jurisprudence operates through making regulations, norms and processs in order to restrain provinces foreign policy behavior and facilitate improved dealingss between autonomous provinces. International jurisprudence besides establishes codifications of behavior for the foreign policy behavior of provinces and signifiers decision-making procedures that can assist cover with differences before they escalate into force.

Although there is much dissension sing the properties of international jurisprudence and whether it really is effectual in commanding provinces foreign policy behavior and sing the possibilities for increased dealingss between provinces at every degree. There are a figure of faculty members including Kennan, Waltz and Morgenthau that claim international jurisprudence is in fact non jurisprudence and hence lacks any ability to restrain provinces behaviour and therefore in making a more peaceable international system.

This essay will get down by analyzing the statements against the effectivity of international jurisprudence in restraining provinces behaviour in their dealingss with their coevalss particularly in respect to the realist school of idea. Second this essay will supply counter statements against those who criticise international jurisprudence and highlight that many of the critics’ decisions are really imprecise and have no footing. Then this essay will travel on to demo that international jurisprudence is effectual in restraining provinces behaviour in the international system.

The dominant paradigm sing the behavior of provinces in the international system is pragmatism. Advocates of pragmatism argue that international jurisprudence is irrelevant and in no signifier constrains or influences the behavior of provinces. The footing of pragmatism is that the international system is lawless, it “consists of many autonomous provinces with no system of jurisprudence enforceable by centralised governments, therefore bring forthing a trust on self-help” ( Kegley, pg 301 ) .

Therefore provinces must act in a manner that maximises their power particularly militarily in relation to other provinces in order to guarantee their endurance because no 1 else will. As a consequence realists claim that states ever move in a mode to prosecute their ain involvements and because there is no higher authorization provinces will act in any manner necessary to accomplish this. Consequentially international jurisprudence will be unable to restrain provinces because they disregard everything else in chase of their primary involvement of power maximization.

Realists besides argue that international jurisprudence will non restrain provinces behaviour because it is in fact non jurisprudence at all. This statement is based upon the fact that there is no cardinal, higher authorization than provinces that can explicate Torahs and guarantee they are obeyed. International jurisprudence does non hold an effectual legislative, executive or judicial map that the bookman Austin determines as a requirement for jurisprudence.

Equally good as this Austin goes onto say that “states can non be subjected to the jurisprudence, they can merely hold to restrict their ain rights through consent” ( Barker, pg 8 ) . Therefore international jurisprudence is non technically jurisprudence in a legal sense because provinces are non obliged to follow international jurisprudence but have the pick to and can retreat at that place consent at any clip. This proves that international jurisprudence is non jurisprudence because Torahs are compulsory ; you are unable to take which Torahs you wish to follow and reject others.

Another statement sing the fact that international jurisprudence can non deserve the name jurisprudence is that it “lacks the centralised enforcement mechanisms and capableness that are seen to stand for law” ( Kegley, pg 303 ) . Therefore international jurisprudence is non valid as existent jurisprudence because there is no construction in topographic point to guarantee conformity and penalize provinces that do non adhere to the regulations. In order for jurisprudence to be effectual and achieve the coveted consequences at that place needs to be a system in topographic point that ensures non-compliance has a punishment to discourage provinces that may see it.

This is because if there is no mechanism to penalize provinces who break the jurisprudence the jurisprudence is unpointed because there will be no reverberations for interrupting the jurisprudence. Consequentially if it is non in a states involvement to follow the jurisprudence it will merely interrupt it. Therefore international jurisprudence does non restrain provinces behaviour in the international system to any extent because there is no model in topographic point to penalize provinces who break the jurisprudence and it is non lawfully adhering.

As a consequence provinces do non necessitate to follow the regulations and processs set by international jurisprudence and therefore it has no impact on their foreign policy behavior.

However there are statements that counter the place of realists and high spot that international jurisprudence really is effectual in restraining provinces behaviour in the international system. Unlike many realists there is a broad figure of faculty members including Bull, Maine and Hart who support the fact that international jurisprudence is lawfully binding, with the same standing and power as domestic jurisprudence. Maine and Hart are “sceptical of claims that enforcement, centralised or diffuse is an indispensable status of legal order” ( Nardin, pg 131 ) .

They claim that in order for international jurisprudence to hold the position of jurisprudence it does non necessitate a model of mechanisms that force provinces to obey it by doing them fear the effects of noncompliance. They do nevertheless state jurisprudence to be considered jurisprudence does necessitate some sort of effectual motivation for them to be effectual.

However international jurisprudence meets this standard because there are systems in topographic point which promote provinces to follow the jurisprudence backed up in some instances by the possibility of reprisal for non-compliance and hence international jurisprudence can non be deterred from its legal position. Therefore provinces are constrained to international jurisprudence because they are lawfully obliged and hence must follow the jurisprudence

Advocates of international jurisprudence suggest that states behaviors will be constrained in the international system due to the fact that following international jurisprudence is in the provinces national involvement. Realists argue that provinces pursue their national involvement and hence if following the regulations and norms of international jurisprudence is good to the province it will stay by it “international legal norms and regulations perform maps that are so in the rational ego involvement even of powerful histrions interacting within a ego constrained political system” ( Burley, pg 212 ) .

International jurisprudence is most effectual when it is non imposed upon provinces utilizing the menace of coercive force but when it is initiated by provinces to profit their national involvement. This position characterises positive jurisprudence that explains international jurisprudence as being “what the topics of international jurisprudence agree the jurisprudence is” ( Kegley, pg 300 ) .

States have to collaborate with one another and “international legal regulations, norms and decision-making processs facilitate cooperation” ( Burley, pg 221 ) . States benefit when they cooperate efficaciously whether economically or ecologically. If provinces operated as individual entities this would be to the hurt of world.

This is because when provinces portion resources, accomplishments and engineering production of goods and services is more efficient and as a consequence more wealth is created. This benefits states because it increases the public-service corporation of their citizens and can assist increase their power if they benefit more from the mutuality than their opposite numbers.

As a consequence international jurisprudence that helps ease increased cooperation between provinces through making regulations and processs for provinces to discourse how to better dealingss and mutuality does non necessitate coercion to do provinces follow with the jurisprudence.

This is because the province benefits from the Torahs and as a consequence the province will be constrained by the regulations defined by international jurisprudence. Realists argue nevertheless that provinces will follow the conditions laid by international jurisprudence so long as it is good to the provinces national involvement. Although suggest that when following certain international Torahs was no longer advantageous to the province they would no longer follow. However when states no longer profit from certain international Torahs they will still happen it in their best involvements to follow.

This is because there are a broad scope of international Torahs sing all signifiers of inter-state dealingss and if a province decides that following one of these Torahs is no longer in its national involvement and decides to retreat there are effects for all of the other international Torahs it conforms to in the international system. This is because if one province withdraws its conformity with one or a figure of international Torahs other provinces may besides retreat from Torahs, which are no longer in their national involvements, and as a consequence the whole model of international Torahs will fall in.

This is because “a province may desert in one game, but will hold to worry about the other participants desertion in another. The final payment matrix of costs and benefits therefore will be affected by computations of future costs and benefits. This bill of fare will so impact the willingness of policymakers to defect” ( Kegley, pg 306 ) .

Consequentially provinces must go on to follow with all international Torahs in order to see the benefits they receive from making so even if other international Torahs under which they are obligated detract from their national involvement.

As a consequence province behavior in the international system is constrained by international jurisprudence as they must follow with international Torahs even if they are non obliged to in order to guarantee they receive the benefits of mutuality. This is because these benefits are facilitated by international jurisprudence because it creates norms and regulations that lead to predictable dealingss between provinces.

Another effect of the benefits provinces accrue from mutuality is the fact that they are less likely to acquire into struggle with other provinces in the international system.This is because international jurisprudence creates processs through which provinces can decide differences.

Therefore provinces behaviour is constrained by international jurisprudence because following with international jurisprudence is frequently in a provinces best involvements and when these Torahs are no longer good to the province they must go on to follow to accrue the benefits from the other international Torahs to which they are party or the whole system of international jurisprudence will fall in, with a damaging impact on provinces.

International jurisprudence is most effectual in restraining provinces behaviour in the international system when it is non imposed upon but initiated by provinces. Chayes and Franck suggest, “that voluntary obeisance, non coerced conformity, must be the preferable enforcement mechanism” ( Barker, pg 89 ) to guarantee provinces obey the regulations of international jurisprudence. Besides if provinces initiate Torahs making regulations and processs for their behavior in the international system these processs become portion of a provinces natural behavior.

The processs that states comply to under international jurisprudence become enshrined in the provinces behaviour due to repeated engagement and as a consequence provinces will ever follow these processs when interacting with other provinces. International jurisprudence moves “from the external to the internal, erstwhile grudging conformity with an external norm to habitual internalized obedience” ( Barker, pg 91 ) .

Consequentially international jurisprudence constrains provinces behaviour in the international system because it becomes portion of a provinces domestic behavior and hence provinces ever follow the norms of the jurisprudence because it is portion of their natural behavior to make so.

In decision, international jurisprudence does curtail provinces behaviour in the international system. The statements proposed by realists that international jurisprudence will non restrain provinces because is non lawfully adhering, deficiencies coercive enforcement mechanisms and is non in the provinces involvements are invalid. International jurisprudence does conform to the demands of jurisprudence and it is really in a states involvement to obey international jurisprudence due to the fact that international jurisprudence installations increased mutuality betweens provinces.

As a consequence states behavior is constrained by international jurisprudence because it creates a model in which provinces involvements can be pursued and creates a more stable international system. This is due to the fact that provinces know other provinces are obligated by international jurisprudence and international jurisprudence helps through its norms and processs prevent struggle by leting provinces to settle their differences without fall backing to armed force.


Barker. J. C, International Law and International Relations: International Relations for the 21st century, London, Continuum, 2000, pg 8, 89, 91

Baylis. J, Writz. J, Cohen. E, Gray. C. S, Strategy In the Contemporary World, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002

Kegley. C. W Jr, Controversies In International Relations Theory: Realism and the Neoliberal Challenge, New York, St Martins Press, 1995, pg 300, 301, 303, 306

Nardin. T, Law Morality and the Relations of States, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1983, pg 131

Journal Articles:

Burley. A. M. S, “International Law and International Relations Theory: A Dual Agenda” ,The American Journal of International Law, Vol 87:2, ( Apr, 1993 ) , pp. 205-239, pg 212, 221