Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-5sfl8 Total loading time: 0.307 Render date: 2022-12-06T19:39:25.914Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Does International Law Promote the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes? Evidence from the Study of Territorial Conflicts since 1945

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 April 2011

PAUL K. HUTH*
Affiliation:
University of Maryland
SARAH E. CROCO*
Affiliation:
University of Maryland
BENJAMIN J. APPEL*
Affiliation:
University of Maryland
*
Paul K. Huth is Professor, Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland, 3140 Tydings Hall, College Park, MD 20742 (phuth@gvpt.umd.edu).
Sarah E. Croco is Assistant Professor, Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland, 3140 Tydings Hall, College Park, MD 20742 (scroco@umd.edu).
Benjamin J. Appel is a Ph.D. candidate in International Relations, Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland, 3140 Tydings Hall, College Park, MD 20742 (bappel@gvpt.umd.edu).

Abstract

In this article, we explain the role of international law in the resolution of territorial disputes from 1945 to 2000. In doing so, we focus on three outcomes of interest. First, when do states choose to revise the territorial status quo through negotiations instead of force? Second, when are states able to reach a final settlement? Third, when do states prefer a process of legal dispute resolution (i.e., adjudication or arbitration) to bilateral negotiations? To answer these questions, we argue that when the legal principles relevant to the dispute are unambiguous and clearly favor one side, a law-based focal point will emerge. This focal point, in turn, facilitates the settlement process by helping leaders overcome distribution problems, a central obstacle in reaching a final agreement. We find strong and consistent empirical support for our hypotheses regarding international law and peaceful dispute resolution.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2011

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

REFERENCES

Abbott, Kenneth W., and Snidal, Duncan. 1998. “Why States Act through Formal International Organizations.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 42 (1): 332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Abbott, Kenneth W., and Snidal, Duncan. 2000. “Hard and Soft Law in International Governance.” International Organization 54 (3): 421–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Albaharna, Husain. 1975. The Arabian Gulf States: Their Legal and Political Status and Their International Problems. Bierut, Lebanon: Librairie du Liban.Google Scholar
Allee, Todd L., and Huth, Paul K.. 2006. “Legitimizing Dispute Settlement: International Adjudication as Domestic Political Cover.” American Political Science Review 100 (2): 219–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barreto, P. 1995. “Inimpugnablidad del Protocol de Rio de Janeiro.” Revista Peruana de Derecho Internacional 45 (1): 5356.Google Scholar
Bearce, David H., Floros, Katharine M., and McKibben, Heather Elko. 2009. “The Shadow of the Future and International Bargaining: The Occurrence of Bargaining in a Three-phase Cooperation Framework.” Journal of Politics 71 (2): 719–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Beck, Nathaniel, Katz, Jonathan, and Tucker, Richard. 1998. “Taking Time Seriously in Binary Time-series–Cross-section Analysis.” American Journal of Political Science 42: 1260–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Biger, Gideon, ed. 1995. Encyclopedia of International Boundaries. Durham, UK: International Boundaries Research Unit.Google Scholar
Blaydes, Lisa. 2004. “Rewarding Impatience: A Bargaining and Enforcement Model of OPEC.” International Organization 58 (2): 213–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brecher, Michael, and Wilkenfeld, Jonathan. 2000. A Study of Crisis. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
Brownlie, Ian. 1979. African Boundaries: A Legal and Diplomatic Encyclopedia. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Brownlie, Ian. 1990. Principles of Public International Law 4th ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
Brownlie, Ian. 1998. Principles of Public International Law. 5th ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
Byers, Michael. 1999. Custom, Power and the Power of Rules. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Castellino, Joshua, and Allen, Steve. 2003. Title to Territory in International Law: A Temporal Analysis. Burlington. VT: Ashgate.Google Scholar
Chayes, Abram, and Chayes, Antonia. 1995. The New Sovereignty: Compliance with International Regulatory Agreements. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Crawford, James R. 1979. The Creation of States in International Law. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Cukwurah, A. O. 1967. The Settlement of Boundary Disputes in International Law. New York: Oceana.Google Scholar
Danilenko, Gennady. 1993. Law Making in the International Community. London: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
De Visscher, Charles. 1968. Theory and Reality in Public International Law. 2nd ed. Corbett, Trans. P.. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dixon, William. 1994. “Democracy and the Peaceful Settlement of International Conflict.” American Political Science Review 88 (2): 1432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Downs, W. George, Rocke, David M., and Barsoom, Peter N.. 1996. “Is the Good News about Compliance Good News for Cooperation?International Organization 50 (3): 379406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Eyffinger, Arthur. 1996. The International Court of Justice, 1946–1996. Boston: Kluwer Law International.Google Scholar
Fearon, James. 1998. “Bargaining, Enforcement, and International Cooperation.” International Organization 52 (2): 269305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Finnemore, Martha. 2004. The Purpose of Intervention: Changing Beliefs about the Use of Force. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Fisher, Adrian S. 1981. Improving Compliance with International Law. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.Google Scholar
Franck, Thomas. 1990. The Power of Legitimacy among Nations. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Franck, Thomas. 1992. “The Emerging Right to Democratic Governance.” American Journal of International Law 86 (1): 4691.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Franck, Thomas. 1995. Fairness in International Law and Institutions. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
Fravel, M. Taylor. 2005. “Regime Insecurity and International Cooperation: Explaining China's Compromises in Territorial Disputes.” International Security 30 (2): 4683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Garrett, Geoffrey, and Weingast, Barry R..1993. “Ideas, Interests, and Institutions: Constructing the European Community's Internal Market.” In Ideas and Foreign Policy: Beliefs, Institutions, and Political Change, eds. Goldstein, Judith and Keohane, Robert. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 173206.Google Scholar
Ghosn, Faten, Palmer, Glenn, and Bremer, Stuart A.. 2004. “The MID3 Data Set, 1993–2001: Procedures, Coding Rules, and Description.” Conflict Management and Peace Science 21 (2): 133–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gibler, Douglas M., and Sarkees, Meredith. 2004. “Measuring Alliances: The Correlates of War Formal Interstate Alliance Dataset, 1816–2000.” Journal of Peace Research 41 (2): 211–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goldsmith, Jack L., and Posner, Eric A.. 2005. The Limits of International Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Goldsmith, Jack L., and Posner, Eric A.. 2005. “The New International Law Scholarship.” Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law 34 (2): 463–84.Google Scholar
Goldstein, Judith L., Rivers, Douglas, and Tomz, Michael. 2007. “Institutions in International Relations: Understanding the Effects of the GATT and the WTO on World Trade.” International Organization 61 (1): 3767.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Guzman, Andrew T. 2008. How International Law Works: A Rational Choice Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Guzman, Andrew T., and Simmons, Beth A.. 2002. “To Settle or Empanel? An Empirical Analysis of Litigation and Settlement at the World Trade Organization.” Journal of Legal Studies 31: 205–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hafner-Burton, Emilie, and Tsutsui, Kiyoteru. 2007. “Justice Lost! The Failure of International Human Rights Law to Matter Where Needed Most.” Journal of Peace Research 44 (4): 407–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hathaway, Oona A. 2002. “Do Human Rights Treaties Make a Difference?Yale Law Journal 111 (8): 19352042.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Henkin, Louis. 1979. How Nations Behave. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Hensel, Paul R. 2000. “Territory: Theory and Evidence on Geography and Conflict.” In What Do We Know about War?, ed. Vasquez, John A.. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 5784.Google Scholar
Hensel, Paul R., Allison, Michael, and Khanani, Ahmed. 2009. “Territorial Integrity Treaties and Armed Conflict over Territory.” Conflict Management and Peace Science 26 (2): 120–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huth, Paul K. 1996. Standing Your Ground: Territorial Disputes and International Conflict. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huth, Paul K., and Allee, Todd L.. 2002. The Democratic Peace and Territorial Conflict in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Huth, Paul K., Croco, Sarah E., and Appel, Benjamin J.. N.d. “Law and the Use of Force in World Politics: The Varied Effects of Law on the Exercise of Military Power in Territorial Disputes.” International Studies Quarterly. Forthcoming.Google Scholar
Ikenberry, John. 2000. After Victory: Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Rebuilding of Order after Major Wars. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Jennings, R. Y. 1963. The Acquisition of Territory in International Law. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
Kaikoband, Kaiyan Homi 1984. “Some Observations on the Doctrine of Continuity and Finality of Boundaries” in The British Year Book of International Law 1983. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 119–42.Google Scholar
Kelly, J. B. 1956. “The Buraimi Oasis Dispute.” International Affairs 32 (3): 318–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Keohane, Robert O., and Martin, Lisa L.. 1995. “The Promise of Institutionalist Theory.” International Security 20 (1): 3951.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Keohane, Robert O., Moravcsik, Andrew, and Slaughter, Ann Marie. 2000. “Legalized Dispute Resolution.” International Organization 54 (3): 457–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
King, Gary, and Zeng, Langche. 2001. “Logistic Regression in Rare Events Data.” Political Analysis 9 (2): 137–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Koh, Harold H. 1997. “Why Do Nations Obey International Law?Yale Law Journal 106 (8): 2599–660.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Koremenos, Barbara, Lipson, Charles, and Snidal, Duncan. 2001. “The Rational Design of International Institutions.” International Organization 55 (4): 761–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Korman, Sharon. 1996. The Right of Conquest: The Acquisition of Territory by Force in International Law and Practice. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Krasner, Stephen. 1991. “Global Communications and National Power: Life on the Pareto Frontier.” World Politics 46 (3): 336–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lalonde, Suzanne L. 2002. Determining Boundaries in a Conflicted World. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.Google Scholar
Leatherdale, Clive. 1983. Britain and Saudi Arabia 1925–1939: The Imperial Oasis. Totowa, NJ: Frank Cass.Google Scholar
Legro, Jeffrey. 1995. Cooperation under Fire: Anglo-German Restraint during World War II. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Lutz, Ellen Lutz, and Sikkink, Kathryn. 2000. “International Human Rights Law and Practice in Latin America.” International Organization 53 (3): 633–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marshall, Monty G., and Jaggers, Keith. 2002. “Polity IV Project: Political Regime Characteristics and Transitions, 1800–2002.” Dataset Users’ Manual, Center for International Development and Conflict Management, University of Maryland.Google Scholar
Martin, Lisa L., and Simmons, Beth. 1998. “Theories and Empirical Studies of International Institutions.” International Organization 52 (4): 729–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McAdams, Richard H. 2000. “A Focal Point Theory of Expressive Law.” Virginia Law Review 86: 16491730.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McAdams, Richard H., and Nadler, Janice. 2005. “Testing the Focal Point Theory of Legal Compliance: The Effect of Third-party Expression in an Experimental Hawk/Dove Game.” Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 2 (1): 87123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McAdams, Richard H., and Nadler, Janice. 2008. “Coordinating in the Shadow of the Law: Two Contextualized Tests of the Focal Point Theory of Legal Compliance.” Law and Society Review 85: 865902.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McEwen, A. C. 1971. International Boundaries of East Africa. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
McFadden, Daniel. 1981. “Econometric Models of Probabilistic Choice” in Manski, C. F. and McFadden, Daniel, eds. A Structural Analysis of Discrete Data Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Mearsheimer, John J. 1994. “The False Promise of International Institutions.” International Security 19 (3): 549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mitchell, Ronald B. 1994. “Regime Design Matters: Intentional Oil Pollution and Treaty Compliance.” International Organization 48 (3): 425–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mitchell, Sara McLaughlin. 2002. “A Kantian System? Democracy and Third Party Conflict Resolution.” American Journal of Political Science 46 (4): 749–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mitchell, Sara McLaughlin, and Hensel, Paul R.. 2007. “International Institutions and Compliance with Agreements.” American Journal of Political Science 51 (4): 721–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Morgenthau, Hans J. 1967. “The U.S. and the Mideast.” New Leader 13: 36.Google Scholar
Morrow, James. 1994. “Modeling the Forms of International Cooperation: Distribution versus Information.” International Organization 48 (3): 387423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Morrow, James. 2007. “When Do States Follow the Laws of War?American Political Science Review 101 (3): 559–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Norman, George, and Trachtman, Joel. 2005. “The Customary International Law Game.” American Journal of International Law 99 (3): 541–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Oppenheim, Lassa. 1955. International Law. vol.1. 8th ed. London: Longmans, Green and Company.Google Scholar
Powell, Emilia J., and Mitchell, Sara. 2007. “The International Court of Justice and the World's Three Legal Systems.” Journal of Politics 69 (2): 397415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Puyo, G. F. 1995. “El Derecho Internacional y la Cronología de una Difícil Relacion.” Revista Peruana de Dercho Internacional 45 (105): 73100.Google Scholar
Raymond, Gregory A. 1994. “Democracies, Disputes, and Third-party Intermediaries.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 38 (1): 2442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Romano, Cesare. 1997. The Cost of International Justice. Center on International Cooperation, New York University. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
Russett, Bruce, and Oneal, John R.. 2001. Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
Schelling, Thomas. 1960. The Strategy of Conflict. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Senese, Paul D., and Vasquez, John A.. 2008. The Steps to War: An Empirical Study. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Sharma, Surya P. 1997. Territorial Acquisition, Dispute and International Law. Leiden, the Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
Shaw, Malcolm. 1986. Title to Territory in Africa. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
Shaw, Malcolm. 1997. “The Heritage of States.” In The British Year Book of International Law 1996, ed. Brownlie, Ian. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 75154.Google Scholar
Simmons, Beth A. 1998. “Compliance with International Agreements.” Annual Review of Political Science 1 (1): 7593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Simmons, Beth A. 1999. “See You in Court? The Appeal to Quasi-judicial Legal Processes in the Settlement of Territorial Disputes.” In A Road Map to War, ed. Diehl, P.. Nashville TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 205–37.Google Scholar
Simmons, Beth A. 2000. “International Law and State Behavior: Commitment and Compliance in International Monetary Affairs.” American Political Science Review 94 (4): 819–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Simmons, Beth A. 2002. “Capacity, Commitment, and Compliance: International Law and the Settlement of Territorial Disputes.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 46 (6): 829–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Simmons, Beth A., and Hopkins, Daniel. 2005. “The Constraining Power of International Treaties: Theory and Methods.” American Political Science Review 99 (4): 623–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Singer, J. David. 1987. “Reconstructing the Correlates of War Dataset on Material Capabilities of States, 1816–1985.” International Interactions 14 (2): 115–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Slaughter, Ann Marie. 1995. “International Law in a World of Liberal States.” European Journal of International Law 6 (2): 503–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Slaughter, Ann Marie Tulumello, Andrew S., and Wood, Stepan. 1998. “International Law and International Relations Theory: A New Generation of Interdisciplinary Scholarship.” American Journal of International Law 92 (3): 367–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Solingen, Etel. 1998. Regional Orders at Century's Dawn: Global and Domestic Influences on Grand Strategy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Sureda, A. Rigo. 1973. Evolution of the Right of Self-determination. Leiden, the Netherlands: W. Sijtoff.Google Scholar
Swaine, Edward T. 2002. “Rational Custom.” Duke Law Journal 52 (3): 559628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tir, Jaroslav, Schafer, Philip, Diehl, Paul F., and Goertz, Gary. 1998. “Territorial Changes, 1816–1996: Procedures and Data.” Conflict Management and Peace Science 16 (1): 8997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Trachtman, Gary. 2008. The Economic Structure of International Law. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tomz, M., King, G., and Zeng, L. 1999. RELOGIT: Rare Events Logistic Regression. http://gking.harvard.edu/scholar_software/relogit-rare-events-logistic-regression/1-1-stata (accessed December 29, 2010).Google Scholar
United Nations. 1980. Reports of International Arbitral Awards, Volume XVII. New York: United Nations.Google Scholar
United Nations. 1992. Summaries of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders of the International Court of Justice 1948–1991. New York: United Nations.Google Scholar
von Stein, Jana. 2005. “Do Treaties Constrain or Screen? Selection Bias and Treaty ComplianceAmerican Political Science Review 99 (4): 611–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Valentino, Benjamin, Huth, Paul K., and Croco, Sarah E.. 2006. “Covenants without the Sword: International Law and the Protection of Civilians in Times of War.” World Politics 58 (3): 339–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Voeten, Eric. 2008. “The Impartiality of International Judges: Evidence from the European Court of Human Rights.” American Political Science Review 102 (4): 417–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Waltz, Kenneth. 1979. Theory of International Politics. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
Wilkinson, John C. 1991. Arabia's Frontiers: The Story of Britain's Boundary Drawing in the Desert. London: I.B. Taurus.Google Scholar
Zacher, Mark W. 2001. “The Territorial Integrity Norm: International Boundaries and the Use of Force.” International Organization 55 (2): 215–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zangl, Bernhard. 2008. “Judicialization Matters! A Comparison of Dispute Settlement under GATT and the WTO.” International Studies Quarterly 52 (4): 825–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Supplementary material: File

Huth Supplementary Appendix

Huth Supplementary Appendix

Download Huth Supplementary Appendix(File)
File 66 KB
53
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Does International Law Promote the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes? Evidence from the Study of Territorial Conflicts since 1945
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Does International Law Promote the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes? Evidence from the Study of Territorial Conflicts since 1945
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Does International Law Promote the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes? Evidence from the Study of Territorial Conflicts since 1945
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *