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Part II Analytical Approaches, Ch.9 International Relations Theory

Peter Lawrence

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law (2nd Edition)

Edited By: Lavanya Rajamani, Jacqueline Peel

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 25 March 2023

Economic sanctions — Biodiversity — Climate change — International law and international relations

This chapter evaluates the importance of international relations (IR) in international environmental law (IEL). IR theory and empirical studies provide insights into how international environmental agreements may be modified to effectively address environmental threats. Key issues include whether sanctions are essential for compliance and effectiveness, and whether the choice of hard law rather than soft law makes a difference. Reform strategies either make explicit assumptions about how international law affects state behaviour, or such assumptions remain implicit. Either way, IR theory throws light on the relationship between international law and state behaviour. The chapter then explores the relationship between power and IEL. It also addresses legitimacy and democratization, and examines how scientific knowledge can be incorporated into IEL.

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