To What Extent Does International Law Affect State Behavior Methodology Chapter

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¶ … international law affect state behaviour?

International Law

The hypothesis of this thesis deals with the effects that the international law has on states' behavior on the international arena. It aims to contribute to the academic debate by trying to prove that strong and weak countries will have the tendency to break or go around the international law, as a global system of regulations often hinders their national interests. Also, the thesis will offer valuable information on the level of influence that the international system of laws has had for the internal and external behavior of states.

Before describing the methodology that this thesis will follow, the three terms of the hypothesis should be explained: strong countries, weak countries, break or go around international law. In constructing a hypothesis, one should take into account its testing by using the observable implications of its terms -- this is why the beginning of this chapter will focus on the elements of the hypothesis as to better understand the variables at stake.

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The basis of this thesis lies in the fact that many countries, although supporting strongly the values and rules of international law, often break or go around it in reaching their goals. Some countries do that taking into consideration a large number of variables and some do it out of a political impulse that often does not include any sort of medium or long-term analysis. In this case, the dependent variable of this hypothesis is that the breaking of international laws is a direct result of the decision of a certain type of state. The outcome of this -- an action by a state against the law -- can be explained by the position it holds in the international system. This independent or explanatory variable will be tested in this thesis and answers will try to be offered to the following sub-question: do extreme positioned state (strong and weak) be more inclined to break the international law?

Methodology Chapter on To What Extent Does International Law Affect State Behavior Assignment

Several problems might appear when analyzing such a delicate subject as the breaking of international law. The correlations that this thesis will try to identify -- strong and weak states as main actors in the violation of the law -- will be based on a series of observable actions by these types of states. The analysis will focus on these types and, although touch upon medium positions states, it will not make a full scale correlation of all states as breakers of international law, as this is not the goal of this thesis. Other problems that might appear in finding answers lie in the nature of the process: breaking international law is sometimes not a public matter and many activities against globally recognized laws would not be accessible.

The first step will focus on identifying several significant cases from both strong and weak states' side in which these have broken the international law and the reasons for which this has happened. Also, in order to answer a more generalist question, and the actual topic of this thesis "To what extent does international law affect state behavior?" this phase of the thesis will focus on why do these types of state disobey laws, as it is obvious that the conditions they are subjects to are unacceptable and therefore a change in behavior appears. States' behavior is often influenced by the international framework in which they exist and an important part of this thesis is going to focus on this influence, and if the influence or lack of it, creates a violent reaction against the law and what it stands for.

The second step of the thesis will focus on defining the key concepts of the research questions: strong states, weak states and what does breaking the international law actually means, looking also at the laws themselves as causes of the problem.

The methodology for the second step will be to present several approaches to identifying the most appropriate categorizations and rankings for states. As important, besides this analytical method will be the usage of the historical method in identifying the roots causes for which states broke the law. This second method of analysis will be used only after a clear analytical-historical research since the modern formation of the international law as recognized in the United Nations system. Only after a correlation… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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