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Rules, Norms, and Decisions

Rules, Norms, and Decisions
On the Conditions of Practical and Legal Reasoning in International Relations and Domestic Affairs


Part of Cambridge Studies in International Relations

  • Date Published: May 1991
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521409711

£ 42.99

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About the Authors
  • This book assesses the impact of norms on decision-making. It argues that norms influence choices not by being causes for actions, but by providing reasons. Consequently it approaches the problem via an investigation of the reasoning process in which norms play a decisive role. Kratochwil argues that, depending upon the strictness the guidance norms provide in arriving at a decision, different styles of reasoning with norms can be distinguished. While the focus in this book is largely analytical, the argument is developed through the interpretation of the classic thinkers in international law (Grotius, Vattel, Pufendorf, Rousseau, Hume, Habermas).

    • Major original study of the roots of international law and the rules of international affairs
    • Theoretically sophisticated and an important landmark in the development of 'constructivism' in international relations, an increasingly infuential methodology
    • Will appeal to people in law and history of ideas/political theory, as well as international relations
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Kratochwil's book marks a major event in international relations theory. It demonstrates persuasively that it will not do to think of the international realm merely in terms of social physics, with billiard-ball states bouncing and balancing about; not merely in the instrumental rationality of the irrepressible utilitarians, who now vie for hegemony via game theory. International life, he shows, like domestic life, is constituted of rules, norms and conventions that are not epiphenomenal adjuncts of 'structures', and that give meaning both to the nature of units as well as the reasons for their actions.' John Gerard Ruggie, Colombia University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 1991
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521409711
    • length: 328 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Rules, norms, and actions: laying the conceptual foundations
    2. Anarchy and the state of nature: the issue of regimes in international relations
    3. The emergence of types and forms
    4. The force of prescriptions: Hume, Hobbes, Durkheim and Freud on compliance with norms
    5. The discourse on grievances: Pufendorf and the 'laws of nature' as constitutive principles for the discursive settlement of disputes
    6. The notion of 'right'
    7. The question of 'law'
    8. The path of legal arguments

  • Author

    Friedrich V. Kratochwil

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