How Effective Can International Law Be As A Regulator Of State Conduct?

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How Effective can International Law be as a Regulator of State Conduct?
When sovereign states fail to comply with international law (IL), it can be stated bluntly that supranational legal organizations are systematically incapable of responding with coercive or punitive measures. If the efficacy of IL is unabashedly defined in strict terms of coercive and punitive power, it is unsurprising that it falls short as an effective regulatory mechanism of state conduct. Instead, a better measure of effectiveness regarding international law is one that understands compliance of IL as a norm adoption platform primarily directed at nation states. Effectiveness of IL as a regulator of state conduct can be understood as the “conformity of behavior to rules, rather than the ultimate outcome of such conformity.”
Institutional platforms, representing universally accepted social norms, have the power to influence state behavior and legal order. International law can be an effective regulatory mechanism for state conduct if a norm cycle activates in which international norms trickle down into domestic structures and a trajectory towards national policy outcomes transpires. International law can be immensely powerful in influencing the domestic political arena; it is therefore conceivable that international law could serve as a regulatory mechanism within state conduct given national structures exhibit willingness and agreement with international norms.
Realist, liberal
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