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International Cooperation and the International Commons

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Barrett, Scott
Journal: Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum
Volume: 10
Date: 1999
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3484
Sector: Global Commons
Subject(s): property rights--international
environmental protection--international
global commons
Abstract: "Efforts to sustain international cooperation invariably culminate in the signing of an international treaty, the success of which depends on the acumen of the individuals that negotiate it and the nature of the problem being addressed. But, while diplomats can make a difference, even the cleverest of diplomats cannot be relied upon to sustain first-best outcomes in all cases. Usually cooperation will be partial and there will be some loss in efficiency. International co-operation in these situations is analogous to domestic politics. Democracy may be the best system of government imaginable, but Arrow has taught us that we cannot rely on majority voting to sustain first-best outcomes every time."

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