Review of Hathaway and Shapiro The Internationalists

-“More Than Meets the Eye – and Less: On the Internationalists.” Global Constitutionalism 7 (3): 330-341. These comments explore further some game theoretical themes of O Hathaway and S Shapiro The Internationalists (2017) of how outlawing of war led to profound changes in international relations even when the norm was breached. The Peace Pact arguably contributed to avoid war by creating institutions – such as international courts – that helped stabilize an assurance game among states by providing trustworthy information and commitments, in turn influencing practices and beliefs concerning mutual non-aggression.
Second, the authors at times claim that the Peace Pact was not only a cause of, but the cause of the massive shift in reduced warfare. Further arguments would be required to substantiate that this treaty not only was a necessary condition, but the trigger that ‘began a cascade’ (xv). Other factors might also have been necessary, and equally deserving of the label ‘triggers,’ – such as increased global interdependence, or democratization. The authors might best modify their claim.
Third, the authors claim not only to present a historical account, but also to draw lessons for the future. At a time when international norms and institutions are under severe pressure, such lessons are very welcome. However, there are reasons to be less optimistic than the authors about the extent of lessons we can draw from The Internationalists about how to preserve and improve on the New World Order of the Pact, rather than backsliding into the Old World Order.[D0I/LINK] [WEB]