Rules, Norms, and Decisions

Rules, Norms, and Decisions : On the Conditions of Practical and Legal Reasoning in International Relations and Domestic Affairs

4.08 (12 ratings by Goodreads)

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


This book assesses the impact of norms on decision-making. It argues that norms influence choices not by being causes for actions, but by providing reasons. Consequently it approaches the problem via an investigation of the reasoning process in which norms play a decisive role. Kratochwil argues that, depending upon the strictness the guidance norms provide in arriving at a decision, different styles of reasoning with norms can be distinguished. While the focus in this book is largely analytical, the argument is developed through the interpretation of the classic thinkers in international law (Grotius, Vattel, Pufendorf, Rousseau, Hume, Habermas).
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 328 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 19mm | 480g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521409713
  • 9780521409711
  • 771,575

Table of contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Rules, norms, and actions: laying the conceptual foundations; 2. Anarchy and the state of nature: the issue of regimes in international relations; 3. The emergence of types and forms; 4. The force of prescriptions: Hume, Hobbes, Durkheim and Freud on compliance with norms; 5. The discourse on grievances: Pufendorf and the 'laws of nature' as constitutive principles for the discursive settlement of disputes; 6. The notion of 'right'; 7. The question of 'law'; 8. The path of legal arguments; Conclusion; Notes; Index.
show more

Review quote

'Kratochwil's book marks a major event in international relations theory. It demonstrates persuasively that it will not do to think of the international realm merely in terms of social physics, with billiard-ball states bouncing and balancing about; not merely in the instrumental rationality of the irrepressible utilitarians, who now vie for hegemony via game theory. International life, he shows, like domestic life, is constituted of rules, norms and conventions that are not epiphenomenal adjuncts of 'structures', and that give meaning both to the nature of units as well as the reasons for their actions.' John Gerard Ruggie, Colombia University
show more

Rating details

12 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 42% (5)
4 33% (4)
3 17% (2)
2 8% (1)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X