Hard and Soft Law in International Governance

  title={Hard and Soft Law in International Governance},
  author={K. Abbott and D. Snidal},
  journal={International Organization},
  pages={421 - 456}
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… Expand
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