Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Access
  • Cited by 317
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Andersson, E. 2016. Monies that Matter, on the Discursive Power of the Bank for International Settlements. Globalizations, Vol. 13, Issue. 2, p. 203.


    Bieber, Tonia 2016. Regional Organizations and Social Policy in Europe and Latin America.


    Böhmelt, Tobias and Spilker, Gabriele 2016. The interaction of international institutions from a social network perspective. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Vol. 16, Issue. 1, p. 67.


    Efrat, Asif 2016. Legal Traditions and Nonbinding Commitments: Evidence From the United Nations' Model Commercial Legislation. International Studies Quarterly, p. sqw012.


    Ewert, Christian and Maggetti, Martino 2016. Regulating side by side: The role of hybrid organisations in transnational environmental sustainability. Policy and Society, Vol. 35, Issue. 1, p. 91.


    Faul, Moira V. 2016. Networks and Power: Why Networks are Hierarchical Not Flat and What Can Be Done About It. Global Policy, Vol. 7, Issue. 2, p. 185.


    Fawcett, Louise 2016. Region-Building in Africa.


    Fukuyama, Francis 2016. Governance: What Do We Know, and How Do We Know It?. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 19, Issue. 1, p. 89.


    Fulge, Timm Bieber, Tonia and Martens, Kerstin 2016. The Handbook of Global Education Policy.


    Garriga, Ana Carolina 2016. Human Rights Regimes, Reputation, and Foreign Direct Investment. International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 60, Issue. 1, p. 160.


    Green, Jessica F. and Auld, Graeme 2016. Unbundling the Regime Complex: The Effects of Private Authority. Transnational Environmental Law, p. 1.


    Haglund, Jillienne 2016. Leslie Johns. 2015. Strengthening international courts: The hidden costs of legalization. (Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press). The Review of International Organizations, Vol. 11, Issue. 1, p. 151.


    Hill, Daniel W. 2016. Why Governments Cede Sovereignty: Evidence From Regional Human Rights Courts. Foreign Policy Analysis, p. orw031.


    Hugh-Jones, David Milewicz, Karolina and Ward, Hugh 2016. Signaling by Signature: The Weight of International Opinion and Ratification of Treaties by Domestic Veto Players. Political Science Research and Methods, p. 1.


    Kirschke, Sabrina Völker, Jeanette and Richter, Sandra 2016. Evaluating water management processes in Germany: conceptual approach and practical applications. Environmental Earth Sciences, Vol. 75, Issue. 14,


    Kreps, Sarah E. 2016. The Institutional Design of Arms Control Agreements. Foreign Policy Analysis, p. orw045.


    Lee, Chia-yi and Johnston, Noel P. 2016. Improving Reputation BIT by BIT: Bilateral Investment Treaties and Foreign Accountability. International Interactions, Vol. 42, Issue. 3, p. 429.


    Linos, Katerina and Pegram, Tom 2016. The Language of Compromise in International Agreements. International Organization, p. 1.


    Lutmar, Carmela Carneiro, Cristiane L. and Mitchell, Sara McLaughlin 2016. Formal Commitments and States’ Interests: Compliance in International Relations. International Interactions, Vol. 42, Issue. 4, p. 559.


    Milewicz, Karolina M. and Goodin, Robert E. 2016. Deliberative Capacity Building through International Organizations: The Case of the Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights. British Journal of Political Science, p. 1.


    ×

Hard and Soft Law in International Governance

Abstract

We examine why international actors—including states, firms, and activists—seek different types of legalized arrangements to solve political and substantive problems. We show how particular forms of legalization provide superior institutional solutions in different circumstances. We begin by examining the baseline advantages of “hard” legalization (that is, precise, legally binding obligations with appropriate third-party delegation). We emphasize, however, that actors often prefer softer forms of legalization (that is, various combinations of reduced precision, less stringent obligation, and weaker delegation). Soft legalization has a number of significant advantages, including that it is easier to achieve, provides strategies for dealing with uncertainty, infringes less on sovereignty, and facilitates compromise among differentiated actors.

Although our approach is largely interest-based, we explicitly incorporate the normative elements that are central in law and in recent international relations theorizing. We also consider the important role of nonstate actors who, along with states, are central participants in contemporary international legalization. We illustrate the advantages of various forms of international legal arrangements with examples drawn from articles in this special issue and elsewhere.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send 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 sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent 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.

      Hard and Soft Law in International Governance
      Your Kindle email address
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send 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 use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Hard and Soft Law in International Governance
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send 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 use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Hard and Soft Law in International Governance
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Organization
  • ISSN: 0020-8183
  • EISSN: 1531-5088
  • URL: /core/journals/international-organization
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×