The Problem of Many Hands in International Law
SHARES Research Paper 72 (2015), ACIL 2015-15
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To be published in: Fabbricotti, A. (ed.), The Political Economy of International Law, Oxford: OUP (2016)
This paper examines the phenomenon of diffusion of responsibility from a political economy perspective. It argues that concerted actions that lead to harmful outcomes may trigger a diffusion of responsibility between States, international organisations (IOs) and other actors involved in the concerted action. Such diffusion may bring both costs and benefits for relevant actors. The chapter construes diffusion as a political process, of which international law is an integral part, and exposes the costs and benefits involved.