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International Courts and the Performance of International Agreements
A General Theory with Evidence from the European Union

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Part of Comparative Constitutional Law and Policy

  • Date Published: May 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107677265

$ 41.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Nations often turn to international courts to help with overcoming collective-action problems associated with international relations. However, these courts generally cannot enforce their rulings, which begs the question: how effective are international courts? This book proposes a general theory of international courts that assumes a court has no direct power over national governments. Member states are free to ignore both the international agreement and the rulings by the court created to enforce that agreement. The theory demonstrates that such a court can, in fact, facilitate cooperation with international law, but only within important political constraints. The authors examine the theoretical argument in the context of the European Union. Using an original data set of rulings by the European Court of Justice, they find that the disposition of court rulings and government compliance with those rulings comport with the theory's predictions.

    • Offers a sophisticated formal model of international courts that captures the entire litigation process
    • Presents an original data set covering all cases decided by the European Court of Justice between 1959 and 2000
    • Presents novel empirical results concerning both determinants of rulings by the European Court of Justice and the impact of those rulings
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    • Winner of the European Union Studies Association Best Book Prize 2015

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Through formal modeling, or game-theory, the book offers a fascinating portrayal of the dynamics that govern judicial adjudication vis à vis market integration in the European Union. The methodological rigor that characterizes the work - in particular the consistent search for alternative explanations - supports the validity of the theory and stimulates further reflection on its practical implications … The complexity of the topic and the innovative approach followed by the authors make this volume a valuable learning instrument for graduate students of political sciences and law, in particular Ph.D. candidates working with regressive analysis, but also for judges and lawyers interested in the enforcement of international agreements.' Giacomo Di Federico, International Journal for Court Administration

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107677265
    • length: 252 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • contains: 27 b/w illus. 18 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: international courts and compliance
    2. A theory of courts and compliance in international law
    3. The empirical relevance of the theoretical model: evaluating the hypotheses in the European Union context
    4. Preliminary considerations on testing the political-sensitivity hypothesis: designing a control for the legal merits
    5. A test of the political-sensitivity hypothesis
    6. A test of the conditional-effectiveness hypothesis: the European Court of Justice and economic integration
    7. Conclusion.

  • Authors

    Clifford J. Carrubba, Emory University, Atlanta
    Clifford J. Carrubba is a Professor of Political Science, Chair of the Political Science Department, and Professor of Law, by courtesy, at Emory University, Atlanta. He also founded and is currently serving as the Director of the Institute for Quantitative Theory and Methods at Emory University. Carrubba has published in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, International Organizations, Political Analysis, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Comparative Political Studies, and the Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization.

    Matthew J. Gabel, Washington University, St Louis
    Matthew J. Gabel is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at Washington University, St Louis, where he also serves as the associate chair of the department. In 2010, he was a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellow. He is the author of Interests and Integration (1998) and has written articles for American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Common Market Studies, and Comparative Political Studies. Gabel is a founding associate editor of European Union Politics.


    • Winner of the European Union Studies Association Best Book Prize 2015

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