Why are Some International Agreements Informal? Author(s): Charles Lipson Source: International Organization, Vol. 45, No.

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Whyare some international informal? agreements
Lipson Charles

"Verbal contracts,"Samuel Goldwyn once said, "aren't worth the paper they'rewrittenon." Yet informalagreementsand oral bargains suffuse cooperationtakesin thatinternational Theyare theform affairs. international exchangeratesto nuclearweapons.Take monetary a wide rangeofissues,from there System, for affairs, instance.ExceptfortheregionalEuropean Monetary on agreements exchangerates since the comprehensive have been no formal, to in of Woods system 1971.A prolongedeffort resurrect downfall theBretton the pegged-rate system failed,althoughnew treatieswere drawnup and duly and efforts, theseofficial markets overwhelmed simply financial signed.Private central bankers eventuallyconceded the point. The one comprehensive of ratified system a merely sincethen,concludedin 1976in Jamaica, agreement monetary years, ratesthathad emergedunplanned.For thepast fifteen floating agreementsof indefinite have been a succession of informal arrangements duration,most recentlythe Plaza Communique and the Louvre Accord, The Bretton Woods designed to cope with volatile currencymovements.1 in years.It was held itselfdepended on such agreements its declining system their banksnotto convert of by together the tacitagreement European central major dollar holdingsinto gold. The systemfell apart when Germanyand They did so because theybelieved that France abandoned thatcommitment. to the United States had abandoned its own (tacit) commitment restrain Put way,the U.S. accountdeficits. another and inflation to avoid largecurrent
David Spiro,CharlesKupchan,Jack I and For their comments suggestions, thankEd Mansfield, Political Economyat Columbia in Snyder,and otherparticipants the Seminaron International I University. am also gratefulto Douglas Baird, Anne-Marie Burley,Dale Copeland, Scott Leuning,Duncan Snidal, Stephen Walt, and other colleagues in the Programon International of (PIPES) at theUniversity Chicago. Economics,and Security Politics, D.C.: the 1. See Yoichi Funabashi,Managing Dollar: FromthePlaza to theLouvre(Washington, Institutefor InternationalEconomics, 1988); and Peter B. Kenen, ManagingExchangeRates (London: Routledge, 1988). Kenen reproduces key portionsof the Plaza Communique (22 1987) on p. 50. September1985) and theLouvreAccord (22 February 45, Organization 4, Autumn1991 Intemational ? 1991bytheWorldPeace Foundationand the Massachusetts of Institute Technology

496 International Organization dollarsintogold at $35 per ounce-the veryheartof formal pledge to convert the BrettonWoods system-was sustained only by silent agreementsthat Americawouldnotbe called upon to do so.' as are relationships well. AmeriSuch informal agreements vitalin security understandon the with SovietUnionhavereliedheavily unspoken ca's relations the are ings.These tacitrelationships crucialfortworeasons.First, Americans and commitments, fewerstillin and Sovietshave made veryfewdirecttreaty Second, formuch of the postwarperiod,each key areas of nationalsecurity. the side was openlyhostileto the otherand outspokenin denying value and at wentmuchfurther times, of even the legitimacy cooperation.The rhetoric to interests the right governat home,itsbasic security challenging adversary's in dealings.For all that,the United abroad,and itstrustworthiness diplomatic framedtheirbasic security policies in States and SovietUnion have generally more prudentand cautious terms.The U.S. decision to pursue containment was a tacit ratherthan "rollback,"even at the heightof Cold War tensions, in of acknowledgment the Soviet sphereof influence Eastern Europe. When the brokeout during 1950s,the United States did nothingpopularuprisings Poland, and Hungaryand in to nothing aid resistancemovements Germany, nothingto deter their forciblesuppression.In a related area of unspoken agreement,each side has been careful to avoid any direct engagementof of involvement Sovietsand Americansin forces, despitethe frequent military limited wars around the world. Paul Keal has termed such policies the diplomacy.3 "unspokenrules"of superpower betweenthe arrangements Unspokenrulesare nottheonlykindsofinformal armslimitations, boththeAmericansand In superpowers. thecase of strategic the Sovietspubliclyannouncedthattheywould continueto observethe first aim it SALT treaty after expiredin October1977.The principal was to sustaina Leonid Brezhnev climateof cooperationwhileSALT II was beingnegotiated. in SALT II agreement 1979,butthe treaty and Jimmy Cartersignedan interim withdrawn 1981.Even so, in by itself neverratified theSenate. It was finally was
Monetary Reform, 1971-1974 (New York: New 2. See JohnWilliamson,The Failureof World and Press,1977); and KennethW. Dam, TheRulesoftheGame: Reform Evolution York University of in the IntemationalMonetarySystem(Chicago: University Chicago Press, 1982). For a of thanon thebreakdown international on politicsrather focusing U.S. domestic counterargument and theEnd ofBretton Domestic Politics the see commitments, JoanneGowa, Closing Gold Window: Press,1983). Woods(Ithaca, N.Y.: CornellUniversity Rulesand SuperpowerDominance (London: Macmillan,1983). Some 3. See Paul Keal, Unspoken to were made to articulatethe rules,but theydid littlein themselves clarify diplomaticefforts talks(SALT I) were concluded,Nixonand armslimitation expectations. 1972,as the strategic In some key elementsof the Brezhnevsignedthe Basic PrinciplesAgreement.It soughtto specify of and thereby facilitatethe development detente.The productwas superpowers'relationship withthe Soviet vague and ambiguous.Worse, it seemed to indicate-wrongly-U.S. agreement in positionon peacefulcoexistenceand competition otherregions.AlexanderGeorge calls these 26 For see of "a elements pseudoagreement." the textof theagreement, Department StateBulletin, of Agreement see June1972,pp. 898-99. For an analysis, AlexanderGeorge,"The Basic Principles Problems CrisisPrevention of 1972," in AlexanderL. George, ed., ManagingU.S.-SovietRivalry: Press,1983),pp. 107-18. (Boulder,Colo.: Westview

agreements 497 Informal the the Americansand Soviets avoided undercutting agreementand tacitly untilthelate 1980s.This cooperationis remarkable observeditskeyprovisions opposing had because the Reagan administration come to power strenuously its helpedprevent passage in theSenate, of ratification theSALT II agreement, and held fastto its declared opposition.In dealingwiththe Soviets,however, In was the administration more accommodating. the earlydaysof the Reagan the State Department announced that the United States administration, made a similar The Presidenthimself "would not undercut"the agreement. treaty was The unratified kept to the bargain.4 in statement 1982 and largely major arms even during the Reagan administration's observed informally nuclearweapcategoriesof long-range specific buildup.Both sides restricted agreement despitethe absence of anyformal ons to meetSALT II limitations, to do so. alwaysclaimed that its nuclear policies were The Reagan administration Yet it devoted considerable attentionto possible unilateraland voluntary. These violations treaty.5 all, Soviet"violations"ofwhatwas, after a nonexistent were importantbecause President Reagan always stated that U.S. arms and progresstoward a new arms depended on Soviet reciprocity restraints the criticized Sovietson bothcountsbut in practice Reagan repeatedly treaty.6
on 4. The State Departmentannouncedits positionin a briefpublic statement 4 March 1981. policy,and Reagan continuedto criticize continuedto debate its armscontrol The administration In Carter'sSALT II agreement. earlyMay 1982, he told a press conferencethatthe agreement thatwe're an "simplylegitimizes arms race" and added that"now the parts [of the agreement] and of ... observing have to do withthemonitoring each other'sweaponry, so bothsides are doing talks(START), Reagan finally armsreduction that."In late May 1982,on the eve of the strategic stated that the United States "would not undercut"the SALT II agreement.He continuedto the whichportionsof the agreement United Stateswould and leftuncertain it, criticize however, of observe.See the Departmentof State announcement 4 March 1981,citedbyStrobeTalbottin (New York: Control in and Deadly Gambits:TheReaganAdministration theStalemate NuclearArms of statement 13 May 1982,quoted in pressconference VintageBooks, 1985),p. 225; thePresident's Documents,vol. 18, no. 19, 17 May 1982, p. 635; and the of Compilation Presidential Weekly delivered National Cemetery," President's"Remarksat MemorialDay Ceremoniesat Arlington States:Ronald Reagan, of on 31 May 1982 and includedin PublicPapersof thePresident theUnited Printing Office, 1983),p. 709. D.C.: Government 1982,book 1 (Washington, report to Congress, President Reagan cited in detail Soviet 5. In 1984, in a confidential messagestated Reagan's accompanying withnumerousarmscontrolagreements. noncompliance that"violationsand probable violationshave occurredwithrespectto a numberof Soviet legal wereincluded, field."SALT II violations in and obligations politicalcommitments thearmscontrol were expandedin alludes to them.These criticisms to and the reference "politicalcommitments" another report,issued in 1985. The Soviets rejected these charges and made counterclaims K. are Relevantdocuments citedbyNotburga Calvo-Gollerand Michael U.S. violations. regarding (Dordrecht, Netherlands: Content-Application-Verification A. Calvo in The SALT Agreements: 1987),pp. 318 and 326 ff. Nijhoff, Martinus not 6. PresidentReagan did restatethe U.S. commitment to undercutSALT II in June 1985, was however, always wouldhave expired.U.S. policy, treaty beforethe unratified some sixmonths on contingent reciprocalSoviet adherence. On that point, Reagan was sharplycritical:"The armscontrolagreements. existing United States has not takenany actionswhichwould undercut the keptitspartof thebargain;however, Sovietshave not.... Certain The United Stateshas fully Such is the case withrespectto the Soviet Sovietviolationsare, bytheirverynature,irreversible. of and Union's flight-testing steps towarddeployment the SS-X-25 missile,a second new typeof Since SALT II agreement. by ballisticmissile]prohibited the unratified ICBM [intercontinental

It highbasic featuresof international illuminates manyagreements cooperation.But what are the limits?What violates the informal these issues and to encourage regular serious violationsfrom"normal cheating"? To clarify . is themost of state(an executive made bythehead agreement) A commitment visible and credible sign of policy intentionsshort of a ratifiedtreaty. 770-71.To be consideredgenuine agreements.not rare and peripheral. commitments. the United States reservesthe right respondin a proportionate of Compilation of statement 10 June1985. nationalpolicy. or means. Consider. The first the government is dimensions. to control them more precisely. by which an agreementis expressed. 24. It may be outlined in an a exchangeofnotes. Tacit and oral agreements."See thePresident's appropriate vol. important on less are simply constraining heads of state. they about futurenational behavior.At the other end of the and omissionson controversial ambiguity Theirpromises of spectrum-mostinformal all-are oral and tacitagreements.pp. promisesin greatdetail and by 8.or even a tacitbargain.quoted in Weekly time. actorsare not exceptional. and the very are generallymore ambiguous and less clearly delimited. also any insightinto why states choose more or less formalmeans for their international agreements.S. Presidential all law. The second dimension theform. along two principal is level at whichthe agreement made. no less an agreement that.They in binding because they partly seniorpoliticalleaders. accordsamongstatesand transnational Informal of The scale and the diversity such accordsindicatethattheyare an important of featureof worldpolitics.The veryinformality so politics.ifthey Agreements whichis givenmost and mostauthoritative imprimatur. for example. Besides exchanging and what differentiates agreement. is lack a visibleimpacton nationalreputation. no.8 of the noncomplianceassociated withthe development thismissilecannot be correctedby the mannerat the to Soviet Union. in clearly treaty of The informality agreementsvaries by degrees. other. 17 June1985.Organization 498 International date of the continuedto observeSALT limitsuntilwell afterthe expiration for but was The agreement tacit. proposedtreaty.and otherbranchesofgovernment.7 joint communique. theirverynature. Documents. itmayinvolve less formal elaboratewritten Writtenagreean oral bargain. international is commitments." What is missing are bureaucracy. It is worthnotingthatall of these distinctions ignoredin international whethermade by the head of state or a whetheroral or written. commitments. the informalcooperation Agencyand Israel's intelligence agencies such as the U. lack the state'sfullest ratification.In bureaucracies less effective are by commitments lower-level matters. Mossad.or to create deliberate matters. theirstatusas domestic including of notonlythe politicaldimension these agreements.a or document. of consideration the to mentsallow greaterattention detail and more explicit the that arise. it are promises whetherformalor informal. Virtually are 7. mustentailsome reciprocal to maybe consideredinformal. 21. CentralIntelligence betweenfriendly on spying each both sides engage in unacknowledged information.and the seriousobstaclesto moredurablecommitments.the profusionof search for international lightsthe continuing forms takes. future or implying promises actions.Theypermit partiesto set theboundariesof contingencies might their promises. treatedas "bindinginternational lower-level but policy. a greateror lesser degree.do not specify or rarelyspell out contingencies remedies. All international agreements.

there is a huge intelligence community.not diplomatic formal informal or coercion. mayproduceorderand predictability-that Genuine regular behavior and stable expectations-withoutcooperation. preferences."Overtime.beginning cooperation. See WolfBlitzer. voluntary cooperation ratherthan outright communications.See the following ambiguousmeaningof tacitagreements and ArmsControl. itmaybe difficult ex to showthattherewas an agreement. law cheating from permissibleactivity.domesticcourtsrefuseto recognizesuch for contracts. and Dan Ravivand Yossi Melman. There is no incentive written creatinga powerful bargainsin manycases.p. ambiguities surely will (New York: for Pollard-The AmericanWhoSpiedon His Country Israeland How He WasBetrayed Spy Harper & Row. varieties of cooperation: helping others.pp. 163. enforcement officials . difficult differentiate to . SALT II treaty theSovietsreciprocated an informal undercut"theunratified The State Department has unambiguously committed international its lawyers. theone hand. long suspected that Israel was playingfast and loose withthe longbarringcovertoperationsagainsteach other. See JonElster'sdiscussion "the twoproblems social order.whichinvolvefutureperformance arise.1990). They are not if arrangements cooperativeagreements they simply involve each actor'sbeststrategic choice.are the crucialform diplomaticexchange."Actions."1 these Are and implicit rulesthatare notwell articulated at all? That depends.S.But these contingent obligations exhortation specify to Jay Story Jonathan of TerritoryLies: TheExclusive of remain. suchincentive avoidoral bargainsin interstate 11.9 disputeslaterarise.Yes. History Israel'sIntelligence of for 9. Recognizingthese limitations oral bargains. Rocke: "Tacit Bargaining of (Ann Arbor:University Arms Races.and the actual on intelligence-gathering difference betweenunobtrusive and actorscan use sanctions on running paid spiesin each other'scountry.Indeed.and In deviating). A of of 12. agreementin 1951. statusis clear-cut. even amongveryclose friends alwayssome spying Thus.Informal agreements 499 If authority make and executethemmaybe in doubt.it to is oftendifficult specify to whatwas intended ante. chap. country's actuallyplantinga 'mole' in a friendly operations. Elster's key Studyof Social Order (Cambridge: Cambridge University fivemain distinction between regularbehavior patternsand cooperation. thereis standingU. Community (Boston: HoughtonMifflin.12 witha secret accords. example. 1. pending the United States by using the standarddiplomaticlanguage of obligationto a treaty the ratification. The State Department's1981 statement.my discussionof international cooperation focuses only on reciprocalcontractual of and where the possibility profitable defection exchanges.This Nash equilibrium is.that the United States "would not To if is commitment. p.the United States and Israel have signedinformal sometimesmakingit are necessarily incomplete. theother. might . 297. 3. Their focusis on uncertain choices and mayproduce inadvertent and specificactions (either completed or intended). 1989). on 10.-Israeli understanding and allies."World Politics39 George W.andArmsControl (April 1987). 77 ff.10 The interpretive problemsare even more acute withtacit understandings betweentheparties. But thatis a farcryfrom goingon. and their aim is joint. . Even so. Downs and David M. MichiganPress. thereby to agreements. and TacitBargaining. worksof and otherinformal bargains. He distinguishes is physical bearing costs of externalities.Even then. and not on the strategies. what about the domesticpoliticalstatusof thatpromise?The debate within But the State raged for anotheryear before the Presidentpubliclyratified Reagan administration Departmentposition. states' strategic is information affects Downs and Rocke's contribution to show how imperfect of estimates others' armsraces. Accordingto Downs and Rocke. conventional equilibria(in whichno partycan improveits outcomeby unilaterally this article.the Congressand courtsneed not be bound by these executive branchstatements."in The Cement Society: of Press.givenothers'independent choices. such agreements According to Blitzer. of of and to signalthe limits theirtolerance.p. voluntarily collaborationin joint ventures.mutual agreementsto transfer rights(private orderings).Every a Prince:The Complete 1990).S. "U. "A state bargains tacitlywith another state when it on its to attempts manipulatethe latter'spolicychoices through behaviorratherthanby relying of words. 1989).

mal agreements escape thepubliccontroversies a ratification can of debate. obvious less informal way: makefewer agreements informational demands theparties. it is important exploretheir rationale. informal Finally. "The Theoryand Practiceof Informal International Instruments. takessuchchances when it maximizesunilaterally and independently. 35 . bargains. is basedon shared It something expectations thateach party can improve own outcomeif its strategic its choicesare modifiedin expectationof reciprocal changes by others. than bargains more They arewillows. process slowand cumbersome is nearly the and This can always impractical.13 Shared can "understandings" arisein either case.""4 treaties often contain Although clauses is permitting renegotiation. the "is ease with it which canbe amended. both the domestic levels. thesametime. and "understandings. Theyare nota uniquemarker of cooperative What distinguishes agreements. presenting of definitions tacit and informal arrangements other to bargains The simply classify them. based upon stable Nash equilibria.What are the impediments? And what are the advantages informal of in agreements them? informal addressing First.p. diplomatic Inforprecedent. are less agreements generally publicandprominent." They may be nothing more than unilateral maximizing. on Negotiators neednottry predict future all to states comprehensively and for contract them. In tacitcooperation. are forms mutual of explicit. Stable expectations can arise in eithercase.Theycan be adaptedto meetuncertain not conditions and shocks." Intemationaland Comparative Law Quarterly (October 1986). meansof international The are cooperation freand quently to informal. becauseinformal do Second. Informality understood a device minimizing impediments isbest as for the to at and international cooperation. elaborate arrangements notrequire ratification.500 International Organization tacit cooperation involves more. profile. 791. whether tacitor cooperation. can and if they be concluded implemented quickly needbe. Anthony Aust. In complex."One of the greatestadvantages an informal unpredictable of to instrument. goalis to understand how different kindsof agreements be used to order can international relationships. is a particular speed advantage. and limitations. rapidly changing environments. and control. oaks. The central pointhere is not taxonomic. they are also more tightly controlled the government by bureaucracies that negotiate implement agreements lessexposed intrusion other and the and to by 13. can unilateral They avoidthedisclosures.leaving off. 14. uses. point be putinanother. even whenthey notsecret. are Thislower has profile important for consequences democratic bureaucratic oversight. are flexible treaties." amendments that sometimes inthat arise Becauseoftheir lower openprocess. thesubtle reliance thepossibilities betrayal and of andregret. should mistake shared At we not all understandings for informal voluntary. one party effect in takes a chance in the expectation thatanotherwill simultaneously an equivalent take bothbetter Neitherparty chance.It is important to exaggeratethe scale of international not cooperationby calling all shared expectations"cooperation." in according a legalcounselor Britain's Foreign Office.

tionalaudiences. implications an of In all these ways. would expectto findinformal we we Because the associated costs and benefits circumstances. flexibility. legislative. treaties oftendo. This evasion typically reliableforall participants. the most sensitiveand embarrassing agreementcan remainnebulous or unstatedforboth domesticand internathem. well as thechoices all kindsof informal arrangements. thedesireto avoidformal thedesireto avoidratification. simplicity.it asks what these varied forms to cooperationcan tell us about the more generalimpediments international to The aim here is to use the choiceofforms agreement explore of agreement.Informal agreements 501 international issues. and agreements. varyin different a of and informal agreements. in These policy interested an agreement. Avoidingpublic debates conceals the depth of national debates can also serveto mobilizeand Ratification supportforan agreement.or theneed to reach agreements quickly. agendas. use informal mentalpollutionor foreign and avoidingclose scrutiny quiet bargainswith their foreigncounterparts.It considersthe cooperation-and the imperfect as basic choicesbetweentreatiesand informal instruments. They thatinformal agreements less constraining diplomatic as so do notstandas visibleand generalpolicycommitments.Finally.Agencies dealingwithspecific agreements seal to can intelligence. This articleexaminesthe strengths weaknessesof informal on constraints international It is an inquiryinto the neglectedinstitutional devices to overcomethem. affairs particularly and of some problems rationalcooperationin international dimensions. These costs and benefitssuggestthe basic reasons for choosinginformal agreements: (1) (2) (3) (4) and visiblepledges. would expectto find meetparticular needs. agreements requirements. The flexibility informal easily abandoned. Joint private actors sustain agreementsduring the implementation communiques and executive agreementssidestep these basic democratic means that the final agreementsare less processes. or the ability renegotiate modify circumstances to as change. privacy all commondiplomatic used frequently. agencieswithdifferent by activeinvolvement othergovernment also nationalcommitment mean and the absence offormal The lowerprofile are as precedents.and bureaucratic) and stage.or even hiddenfrom a come at a price. of whichcan be used to amongdifferent of expresscooperationamong states. would also expectto find distinct pattern formal used to we varioustypesof informal agreements Finally. their contextual and institutional . are and Because speed.and sometimes very benefits Yet all of these diplomatic also meansthattheyare more of agreements highone. constituencies integrate multiple the networksof public officials(executive.such as environagencies.

are legally agreements. 1961). agreed minutes. differ form political in theseagreements and Although intent.a practitioner theBritish ForeignOffice. See.Y. and Fritz Munch. agreeof and communiques. indeed. unlessclearly statedotherwise. 17. 1974). scholars legal view is that international rarely distinguish amongthem. conflated treaties.'5 . the natureof treaties and. if contain Thus.informal agreements. they are with studied explicit promises. final memoranda understanding. 7 (Amsterdam: North-Holland.a wide rangeof otherinternational agreeThe implicit claimis thatinternational agreements a status have similar to domestic which binding enforceable." AmericanJoumalof Intemational Law 71 (April 1977)." AmericanJoumalof Intemational Law 77 (April 1983). bilateral multilateral in and states treaties. arrangements from range executive and agreements nonbinding treaties joint to declarations. and expectations. binding upon the signatories. See UN by document A/CONF. oral agreements. to Unliketreaties. 39/27. canchoose theircommitments. after ratification thirty-five nations. The one general (and quite valuable) legal treatment informalagreementsis "The Theory and Practice of of Informal International Instruments" Anthony in by Aust. mentspursuant legislation. 296-304.: Oceana Publications. and TaslimElias. TheModemLaw of Treaties (Dobbs Ferry. which acknowledge promises their as binding commitments fullinternational with legal status. "The Senate Role in TreatyRatification. pp.". to definition treaties of codified theVienna in Convention theLawofTreaties. 353-57."The Twilight Existenceof Nonbinding International Agreements. The most formalare obligations. 16. claimis seriously are and This contracts. See. Glennon. on Article states 26 that treaties "binding are be upontheparties" and "must performed them in by textson international emphasize binding law good faith. pp. forexample.The dominant whatever theirtitle." The Encyclopedia of PublicIntemational Law. vol.16 Similarly. The Vienna Convention the Law of Treatieswas opened forsignature 23 May 1969 on on and entered into force on 27 January1980. Michael J."Non-Binding in Agreements. ments. between a variety but lie of to written instrumentsexpress national with obligations greater precision and openness thantacitor oral agreements without fullratification but the and that formal Theseinformal national pledges accompany treaties. pp. N. forexample.Lord McNair. these informal agreements effect comeinto without ratification do notrequire and generally international or publication registration. Theyare rarely directly.1969. is a faulty It and legalistic characterization international of 15. 1984). misleading.At the other extreme tacitagreements. for of such except thecuriosity "nonbinding" Final agreements as theHelsinki Thisdistinction between agreements legally that bindand agreements that do notis a traditional It is central thetechnical one.17 Act.Oscar Schachter. The Law of Treaties (Oxford:ClarendonPress. which and in In bargains expressly are stated notdocumented. whichobligations commitments are in and are implied inferred notopenly or but declared. 257-80.502 International Organization and thelimitsofinternational Self-help agreement from widevariety forms express a to When states they of cooperate.

Was their "agreement principle" buyGetty agreement the was eventhough final contract never The question arose binding signed? because. clauses to deal with missing the Most fundamentally. p. keydisputesin contract revolve this the law aroundwhat a constitutes binding agreement and whatconstitutes appropriate an penalty nonperformance. Or." is 20. and can to Individuals corporations appealto thecourts determine whether an ostensible one or perhaps given full orally without documentation.mounted higher forGetty.the individual provisions "are pacta de contrahendo. Although international agreements contracted are commitments. Thomas Petzinger... There is no wayin whichan agreement be forcedupon them and thereis likewiseno way in whichtheycan be compelledto negotiate. of 19. For an astute discussionof the weakness of treatiesthat contemplate " further. and it says all too little about relatedissuesof renunciation.soon afterthe agreement been reached. violation. promise. . right interpret parties' the to at the the intentions thetime bargain was initially made. parties cannot simplyabandon their the commitments unilaterally.theycannot abandon these commitments withoutfacing legalpenalties. detailed negotiations.The assertionthatthe to or to in is duty negotiate to concludean agreement impliesa duty negotiate good faith an empty one. withspecific obligations. for International legal scholarship largelyavoids these fundamental issues. this Theircase hinged themeaning on of Pennzoil's in to Oil. cansettle as or and their When meaning.another had company. 552. power wide-ranging. The Texaco-Pennzoil Wars(New York: Putnam. For a systemof contractlaw to be effective.theright decidewhether agreement to an exists or legally is impermissible becauseitis procedurally flawed violates or public and the right interpose to contract policy.First..The size ofthecompanies meant that stakes the the Pennzoil over$10 billion thefinal and wereunusually awarded high: jury 18. for whether thosepromises were originally intended contracts not. domestic for in legal systems. In thesegeneraltreaties.Incompleteinternationalagreements remainincomplete.18 parties discuss compliance after agreements beensigned. the purchase. In the relationsof States. is actually binding.' Intemational and Comparative Law Quarterly (October 1980). Oil and Honor: see Jr."9 legalbattle The equivalent theinternational between Texaco and Pennzoil illustrates judicialpower. whichcannotbe enforced the if can partiesdo not reach agreement. Incompletedomesticagreements can be filledin by courtdecisions. courtscan hold parties unforeseen conditions. 29 Baxtersays. For an accountof thepurchaseand thelitigation. courts thustransmute The can informal incomplete or agreements formal into obligations.a complaint thatnegotiations have notbeen carriedon in good faith mererhetoric. Thereis simply no at level. much less enforcement. simple any to analogy is domestic contracts mistaken severalreasons. judicial This is It includes.1987). responsible theirpromises. rather."International see Law in 'Her Infinite Variety.Reflecting understanding. a bid Texaco indemnified Getty and its Texaco.20 largestshareholders againstany lawsuitsand completed Pennzoil thensuedTexaco. binding agreements adjudicated enforced courts. are and by backed by theinstruments ofstate power. RichardBaxter. bargain theshadow have in they of lawandjudicial enforcement.. and monitoring agreements. Theyare beyondthe reach of international courtdecisions. among other things.Informal agreements503 agreements practice is also a poorguideto why in and states sometimes use treaties other and times informal use meansto express agreements.

The disputealso illustrates hightransactions the ultimateout-of-court and majorlitigation-coststhatdiscouragelitigation encouragethe establishment can accompany Besides the directcosts of relationships.But The size of Pennzoil's victory to formalcontracts. more commonly. This backing promises qualifiedin at least twosenses. aboutTexaco's continuing the litigation. the courtsinterpret as obligations. complianceissueswerecomplicated thepossiblesize ofany 21.They can sortout the inevitablemistakes. disputeraiseduncertainties to (withoutadding commensurately Pennzoil's price). theycan order a partyto perform contractual We need them("specificperformance"). David $3 billion. herewiththisbodyoflaw in anydetailor withimportant notconcernourselves impactof But differences. crucial in complex capitalisteconomies in which independentagents work togetherby voluntaryagreement. a bond ofunprecedented elementin the appeals processand scale of Texaco's bond was an important The unprecedented costs that the settlement. of rather thanon commercial is ofcontracts based on themoralinstitution promising. Summers. it is for 22." 157-72. The case raised significant used in businessas precursors whichare commonly in ''agreements principle.What legal scholars debate is not the and theunderlying content powerbut its substantive of propriety enforcement At thatshouldgoverndamage awardswhen promisesare broken.itassumesthatthecontested noted. In unusual cases. a whether contract disputessuch as this. Fried and Atiyahrepresent To exchange. the Evidencefrom Texaco-PennzoilLitigation.First. compelling supports by adherence to promises privatelymade or. It by and facilitates agreements. recipients brokenpromisesshouldbe awardedtheirexpectations . for of institutions the privategovernanceof contractual the thusreducing operations. case. and outright negligence. Fried arguesthatthe commonlaw 23. there was nothingunprecedentedabout the power of the courts to settle even exists. transactions. One company'sstock price significantly wealthofTexaco and Pennzoilbysome indicates thatthelegal disputereducedthecombined study See the of two-thirds thissumwas regainedafter finalsettlement. Cutlerand LawrenceH. requiring Moreover. They can set a price to be paid fornonperforfraudthatbedevil agreements.But thestakeswerehighforanother out-of-court questionsabout the legal statusof reason as well.pp." was unprecedented. judicial authority Whetherthe issue involvessimple promises or complicatedcommercial by of compulsoryarbitration courts the availability effective. maybe a difficult oppositepoles in thisdebate.Approximately Resolutionand Financial Distress: "The Costs of Conflict M.22 compensatory colorsout-of-court bargaining. this hurdle.as Goldwyn For a third party. Courtsoften judgment of size-well beyondthe capacity a bondingagency-was required. enforcement They are of There is no debate over the propriety thesejudicial functions. and opportunity costsof usingthe courts(some ofwhichmaybe recoveredin the final of to can be promises somehow demonstrated thesatisfaction Second. its mance. leaves aside theexpense judgment). in thelast resort. does so.Organization 504 International was settlement for$3 billion. of of the sustainthisinstitution. large. oral promises. disputes.to determine contractual its and to ensurecompliancewithanydamage awards.In this any requirebondsto be postedcovering final againstTexaco.however to infer terms.the prospectof such for payment promisesbroken. we shouldrecognizethefundamental cross-national on exchangerelationships. of RandJoumal Economics19 (Summer1988).23 principles by Oil." of province domestic is of settlement suchconflicts theroutine The definitive in and obligations specific to Courtsare empowered decide rights legal systems. In thedisputeoverGetty awards.

24 majority on The of more. This is usuallya monetary award.forinstance. law requiressomething promisesreceive the benefits theymightreasonablyhave expected had the promises been kept. is costly But the factthatself-help commonto all agreements is does not eradicate bargains.25 Whateverthe standardfordamages.In thatsense. 46. and Patrick Atiyah.1978). 160-61. of and is These costsand enforcement contractual rights obligations imperfect. 25.pp. 1936. theirown cost.26 is also truethatdomesticcourts theirown independent do not become involvedin contractdisputesthrough initiatives. It diminishesthe tasks of selfand contractual lowersthe costsof transactions. in 27. 52-96 and 373-420. The Using local courtsto sustain agreementsis oftencostlyor impractical. S. pp. The Economics of Contract (Boston: Little. for the institution promisingin all its facets. course. forms. and Fried. Yale Law Review. it and theresults uncertain. Mnookinand Lewis Kornhauser.1981)."The Reliance Interest see in Contract Damages.27 There is simply whether disputes the enforcement. FromPrinciples Pragmatism to (Oxford:ClarendonPress. For the efficiency implications this Law legal doctrine.in bothlegal scholarship relying a brokenpromise.it is argued. "innocent"party expectedto takereasonableactionsto minimize to of damagesand cannotwinawardsthatcovera failure do so. and is To lower the burdensof self-protection not to eliminatethementirely. thereby promotes protection. partiesmustlook to themselves forsome protection It againstopportunism. profit. "Bargaining the Shadow oftheLaw: The Case of Divorce.p. institutional arrangements affect can bargaining . and returnedto an older notion of commercialpractice. whicharose in the nineteenth century.see AnthonyKronman and Richard Posner. access to the at of Like these other courtsmaybe seen as an adjunctto otherforms self-help.pp. See JohnAdams and Roger Brownsword. as 26.it is clear thatthe courtsoffer political of backing for the exchange of promises and. Fuller and WilliamR. Theyare called upon bypartiesto the dispute-at the parties'own initiative.Informal agreements 505 by shouldreceivethe coststheyincurred thevery least. the fundamental differences between domestic and international and Hangingover domesticbargainsis the prospectofjudicial interpretation are settledin courtor not. indeed. by parties disputemay. Lon L.1979). in agreements. Understanding Contract Law (London: Fontana. agreements exchangein general. The courtsthemselves require some efforts self-protection.They attribute thatto a more generaltheoretical gap: a limitedunderstanding howalternative outcomes. 144. willgo uncompenuncertainties raise the possibility thatbreachesof contract the sated or undercompensated. See RobertH. Atiyah arguesthatcourtdecisionshave movedawayfrom strict this emphasis.1979).recipients and view. 1987). is a requirement perform specific it to the promisesin the contract.Contract Promise. Occasionally.Brown. 24. the Of no analogue forthese functions international seekjudicial rulings or to an interstate mutualconsent. Patrick S. 950-97." Yale Law Joumal88 (April 1979). in on See CharlesFried. Their role provides an importantmeasure of protectionto those who receive promises. For the classicstatement. Atiyah.It demandsthattherecipients common courts. The Riseand Fall ofFreedom Contract of (Oxford:ClarendonPress. vol.Contract Promise: as A Theory Contractual of Obligation (Cambridge.which limits awardsto thecostsincurred relying brokenpromises." parts1 and 2. Mass. Perdue. Knowing that.: HarvardUniversity Press. at Once a contracthas been the is the breached.and at theirown risk. Mnookin and Kornhauseralso concludethattheimpactofdiffering arrangements divorcesettlements on cannotbe specified legal of withprecision.

These proposalscannotbe applied compensated bounties. since they ultimatelyenvision to internationalagreementswithout significant and See authoritative judicial interpretation enforcement.the rights withdrawal accompanied domesticcontracts. degreesof privateordering in "Bargaining severely. These are oftenad hoc proceduresdesignedfora specific and Trade quasi-judicial. Civillaws governing barredor constrained. whether is includedas a legal it 29. AmericanJoumal of Intemational International Court of Justice.: Yale University Lawful Breaches Herbert W. A signatory alwayshas the practicaloptionof withdrawal. of the ad hoc meansdevisedto manage therisks international of (Madison: University WisconsinPress.See RichardB.30 betweendomesticand international thesebasic differences contractsbut also set Domestic legal systemsnot only aid in enforcing Statutes boundarieson the scope and natureof privateagreements.31Such Their powersmaybe agreement.voluntary to portion of criminallaw.S. the most are But the punishments also highly retaliation. but it falls far shortof the legal sanctionsfor are of There.fromprostitution drugs. pp.28 They can raise the diplomaticcosts of violationsand ease the burdens of For circumscribed."The Economy78 (May-June1970). private ordering law attempted restrict to the Shadow oftheLaw. by modification. Bilder. 952-53. and George J. once again." See Mnookinand Kornhauser. 28. for example.29 can up or a multilateral organization. cartel price-fixing. An (January1974).1975). usury. Managing RisksofIntemationalAgreement the 56-61. Becker and George J. Termination: of or see optionin thetreaty not. effective A orderingof relationships. in the proceduresof the U. homosexual marriage.For legal analyses. use proceduresfor dispute resolution. and and Retaliations (New Haven. most.The rationaleis thatlargerpublicpurposes to gambling the sale ofillicit should overridethe immediateparties'own desires:theirbargainsshould be rentcontrol." "Law Enforcement. pp. or that principles. violating of by externalenforcement damages."JoumalofPolitical of Optimum of might pointout in theirstudy divorcelaws. and court rulingslimit the private.Conn. GaryS. Stigler. multilateral These proceduresmay have teeth. pp. Enforcement Laws. The presenceofquasi-judicial And it pointsto of adjudication. 169-217. Arie E. David. private grounds libertarian 30. 526-36. based on efficiency domestic laws and contractsand that they be agents play a much larger role in enforcing paid eitherbyviolatorsor the state. Gary S. There havebeen proposals." 51-68.1981). established SALT I and SALT II. 1-18. privatearbitration. ." pp.pp."A legal system 31. divorce allowvarying upon dissolution the marriage. Joumalof Legal Studies3 Malfeasance and Compensationof Enforcers.theysimply an from agreement At retaliation.The fact that all agreementscontain some elements of shouldnotobscure for governance and self-protection someinstitutions private bargains. or certainlimitedacts of self-enforcement defineand justify part.theymayforcea violatorto withdraw of That giving thebenefits participation. be sure." Joumalof PoliticalEconomy76 (March-April 1968).Organization 506 International statesmayalso agree in advance to In treaties. Stigler. pp.usuallybased on disappointedexpectations of profit. TheStrategy Treaty Press. Briggs. 203-16. As Mnookinand Kornhauser of Untilrecently. is devoted specifically significant and punishingcertain categories of private agreements. to be punishment.the limits international indicates.pp.and indenturedservitudeare all directed at preventingprivate bargains. Becker. specific agreements cooperation.as in the dispute mechanismsof the General Agreementon Tariffs as (GATT). or merelyconsultative.-Soviet StandingConsultative in bodies attachedto Commission."Unilateral Denunciation of Treaties: The Vienna Conventionand the Law 68 (January1974). for better or for worse. insidertrading. "Crime and Punishment: Economic Approach.

There is one restriction withthe United thathave been formally registered World Court will onlyconsideragreements the wouldinfluence body. to themmore costly execute.34 are and These highcosts of self-enforcement the dangersof opportunism importantobstacles to extralegal agreements.thisrestriction enforcement Nations. and IllegalMarkets theMafia (Cambridge.or witnesses specific on Again.33 legislatureand is restraint not due simplyto the lack of an international theyare absent). law can restrict formof agreements.theselegal boundaries be thatcontracts put in writing.and ifneither agreements. it shouldmake clear to First. Statuteof Frauds.32 forexample.S.One clear-cutand exampleis the U.with whether an internationalagreementis considered "legally on binding"or not. a contract larger be agreements put in writing.it shouldimpart later arise.The Economic (New York: Free Press. nizedCrime: 35. Three standardreasons are givenforthe legal requirement is cautionbeforean agreement completed. 1941.agreements 507 Informal legal of elements domestic themare central and restrictions therulesgoverning systems. the orderings. there are simplyno equivalent restrictions either the formor international The domainofpermissible agreements. pp.Indeed. its or has party made payment performed obligations. 41. Relational Contracting Firms.1985). responseto the problemsof providing see arrangements. by domesticlaw to channel agreements. Markets. It is due equallyto theabsence of an executive (thoughsurely domestic on of effective system adjudication.see Oliver R. On the mechanismsof private governance. thatillicit aside from direct any bargains. 32.1983).One majorlimitation prohibited is bargainsare notenforced penalties. the the Similarly. Criminalorganizationssuch as the Mafia can be understoodpartlyas an institutional are criminal serviceswhenthe bargainsthemselves illegal.35 has littleto do.See theclassicanalysis Lon L.whichrequiresthatcertain prominent if is Accordingto the statute. suchbargainsbymaking bycourts. the costs may be as if leave unsolvedsuchbasic problems moralhazardand time prohibitive they of bargainfeatures interstate The inconsistency. substanceofinternational This absence of agreementsis simplythe domain of possible agreements. The worthnotingon the legal formof international agreements." ColumbiaLaw Review.1968). 36-37. Williamson.IftheWorldCourtwerea powerful form majoragreements.Disorgaeconomic studyof such institutional For a fascinating Mass. same obstaclesare inherent are ing and mustbe resolvedif agreements to be concluded and carriedout. it Third. requiring or language. and Anatomy Law (New York: and Form.: MIT Press.Although there are then the courts will only enforce written rule. In domesticaffairs. of Institutions Capitalism: . Fuller:"Consideration of vol. the partiesthattheyhave undertaken by shouldprovidebetterevidenceforcourts. transparency themdependson theparties'preference Resolving and information). the private and choices (asymmetrical of theirpreferences It mechanisms up to secure theirbargains. set institutional however. it does underscorethe capacityof exceptionsto this straightforward particulardocumentation.Second.pp.if disagreements specific obligations. Praeger. of 34. 799-824. Peter Reuter. than$500. 33.This restricts To implement illegal contractsrequires special precautionsand sometimes a arrangements: of entails the establishment a broader set of institutional criminal enterprise. the otherhand.

In the that effective or self-binding offer institutions permit absence of international a forms signify to treatiesuse conventional external guaranteesforpromises. costsare highest withthe state's fullestimprimatur.the term"bindingagreement" a misleading In international This hyperbole. enforced endogenously. thatstateswishto signal agreements thatform? and gravityand are using a welltheir intentionswith special intensity form is understoodformto do so. least.It means thattreaties." other words. This inability an inherent mustbe like all international agreements. it is misleadingto understand contesting sovereign as legal terms.at thirdparties. often. States deliberpublicly seniorofficials by in from the atelychoose to impose these costs on themselves orderto benefit of others. of then. chiefly the treatiesincorporate languageof formal with specificcommitments.For that reason."together But featureof moderntreaties. higher reputational written made whenthe agreement containsspecific promises.states must act for themselves. makingthat commitment By at public. In short. cooperation. both solemn and seriousnessof commitment. and That costis raisednotonlyforothersbutalso foroneself. to adhere to a particular bargain. even and of promises. to precommitment-toa contractualexchange of promises. is affairs. publictheagreement.to underscore durability significance theunderlying in The language of "binding commitments. Such "we shall" and "we undertake. The decisionto encode a bargainin treaty of the a primarily decision to highlight importance the agreementand. typically in purely lawyers treaties(as international that instruments somehowbind statesto theirpromises.I think. languageis a defining conventional diplomatic thatlanguage cannot accomplishits ambitioustask of bindingstatesto their for limitation bargaining international on is promises. do) formal.whydo statesuse thatlanguage? do . The effect treaties. Given the inherentconstraints of (or counterpromises actions) international theseformal pledges are as close as statescan come institutions. is a diplomatic aimed at othersignatories communication and.the partiesindicatetheirintention. then.Organization 508 International between selling contraband make an enormous difference-thedifference in whiskey Al Capone's Chicago and sellingthe same productlegallytenyears later. the more.is to raise the politicalcostsof noncompliance.one to stake the parties'reputations crucialelementof treatiesis thattheyvisibly Whyframe If treaties not truly bind. thatinternational politicsis a realmof limitation crucial:it is a recognition is powers.To enforcetheirbargains.The moreformal The the the costsofnoncompliance. do? Whatdo treaties is in The chiefreason.It is quite true that phrasessuch as obligation.

secrettreaties similar informal are in valued. not all actors Some simply not have much to lose. Whetherit succeeds depends on (1) the immediate and an benefits therate (2) from breaking agreement. preferences cannotbe knownwithcertainty.forexample. J. a Because breaking it can be used as a "hostage" or bond to supportcontracts. producesa loss of it compliance. then it also pays to investin If the prospectivegains fromreputationare sufficiently N. do have a reputation worthpreserving.and contexttractedterms appear ambiguous. whether theirviolationsare visibleor not. social learningand constructed meaning-all matter. there can be an equilibrium whichthe 39. inference.1990). Kreps.if the futureis highly advantageofit. Moreover.37 Informalagreementsare generallyless reliable and convincing The stakes are preciselybecause theyinvolveless of a reputationalstake."There is a cost to discarding on to at thetime.not all are witnessed. If a statealreadyhas a poor reputation keepingitspromises.perhaps because others have changed because circumstances have alreadyviolated the agreement. The agreement.Some that Not all violationsdiscredit or are seen maybe consideredjustifiable excusable.although reputational capital. ImposedWar(Tehran: Ministry ForeignAffairs. vol.: Princeton Theory (Princeton.agreements 509 Informal The violations)is a real their (because ofdeliberate pledges. See David M.p. In otherwords.theymaynot choose to little staking in for thenitrisks 36.or collateral) and carefulmonitoring. See also Iran.The pact was usefulfor also postponeda confrontation of the new territories of promises cooperationitheld out. In thissense. and simultaneous gains. treaty addendum."JoumalofLegal Studies (January .36 loss ofcredibility not always a decisive one. its pledgeswillfailto convincefuture on all special efforts (such as bonds. theloststreamoffuture of discountapplied to that stream.39 equally.Mark Ramseyer. althoughit is certainly calculus. Japan. 532. because compliance is no longerfeasible. frontiers statedthat"land and river reachedin 1975in Algiers. 96. the of the 1983). no matter may withIran "null and void" in 1981. when he declared Iraq's border agreement permanent and shallbe inviolable. hostages. 38. Stalin and Hitler. to agreements.and (3) the expectedcosts to reputation from specific violations. Review the of 1985). memory. information. designed to but it suggeststhat theymaybe minimizereliance on "trust.Thus.Yearbookof the United A of Legal Department. it or contract even appearingto do so degradesreputation. Nations.commitments be cast aside.Second. such an agreement final. The incorporation because it producedimmediate betweenthe two. disingenuous and cannotbe relied upon.The threatof such loss promotes gains cannotguaranteeit. As a result. including textof the 1975 treaty."That does not rule out treaties. pp. even ifthatcost seems remote unilaterally. University Press. 40. exceeds anyshort-run gainsfrom taking discounted)value of a reputation (current large. 35 (New York: United Nations.or because the consignificantly.J.1981.38 diminishedeitherbecause the agreementsare less public (the audience is officials less directly are and morespecialized) or because high-level narrower involved. Saddam Hussein did as 37. without partners and thatreputation otheragreements.foundtheirpact useful of gainsforeach: the division EasternEurope. "Legal Rules in Repeated Deals: Bankingin theShadow of Defectionin 20 1991). in termsof policy loss. Of course.A Coursein Microeconomic reputation. Ministry ForeignAffairs.40 First.notforanyfuture theseimmediate how formal. where others' currentand future In a world of imperfect has reputation value.and Iran's interpretation. See United Nations.p.It virtually rulesout theability concludeusefulagreements otherborderdisputes. 238-39.

to to invest themprecisely createexpectations is can these expectations produce a streamof rewardsand ifthe future highly Thus. 1989). Accordingto Garthoff.as I have noted. for Sovereign outweigh incremental value their reputationleast when they do not expect to borrow again. at warheadsor neutron bombs. Again. rewardsare too little. hostage of reputaenhanced gainfrom support. in was "The principal effect theneutron of weapon affair to reduceWesternconfidence American by leadershipin thealliance. the stream rewards. on theperceived in otheragreements. of in 44.to gains from show that they are reliable partners. Doubts about the military necessity European concernthrough exercising vigorous wereoverwhelmed of new [long-range or evendesirability deploying tacticalnuclearforce]systems Detenteand by a perceivedpolitical necessity withinthe alliance.. in about future If performance.p.. supportedby reputation.unswayedby short-term in otherwords. Some statesforeseelittle tionis notalwaysstrong eitherbecause the immediatecosts are too high or the ongoing reputation. The short-term price of reputation may either be foregone opportunitiesor direct that are most valuable within a specific bilateral expenditures.and laterto lead theUnitedStatesto seek to undo thateffect another felt for itself itneeded to compensate newarmsinitiative NATO.does not of The defection. Century Debt Crisesin LatinAmerica: to N.who had initially proposed the modernization.pp.42 (or actorswithpoor reputations littletrackrecord) maychoose Alternatively. FromIndependence theGreatDepression. Garthoff. it may be rational to make such investments.Williamson has explored the use of such fixed investments make credible in commitments TheEconomicInstitutions Capitalism. The United States made such an investment reputationin the late 1970s. especiallythe Germans.Organization 510 International presumably because the costs of buildinga good name investin reputation.J.I have shownthatsovereign their old defaults when they contemplatedseeking new loans.If future to rewards.Finally. The problemarose afterthe Carteradministration supportedand then opposed NATO's deploymentof new antitankweapons. . Elsewhere. It soughtto do so by respondingboldly to a perceived leadership. proposedanotherapproachto nuclearmodernization: in of The administration held fast(as did the Reagan administration) support itsnewplan. knowing that too late. Centuries (Berkeleyand Los Angeles:University of Foreign Capitalin theNineteenth Twentieth and A of California Press.the II Carteradministration Pershing missiles. It then did so despitea rising tide of publicprotest abroad and wavering supportfrom European leaders. They maysigntreatiescynically. The Carteradministration for its handlingof the neutrondecision.. Unfortunately. paysto exploitpriorreputation disinvest) reap short-term (to debtorsin the nineteenth movedto settle century 42. equipped with enhanced radiation publicly.41 of debtors. in but can they violatethemcheaply.43 and clarityof both promises and reputationlost depends on the visibility on and performance. 122-23. Afterthe crisisdied down. Standing Guard: Protecting bargaining leverageat precisely these moments. afterits as credibility leader of the NorthAtlanticTreaty Organization(NATO) was damaged by the first neutron bomb affair. 47. thenit is rewardsare sharply discounted.44 general importance reputation.such as fixed investments to relationship. the value of valued.. 43. of usefulness reputation supporting designed to be a Compliancewithtreaties..the shadowof the future crucial. Creditors had the greatest See Charles Lipson.Othersmaysigntreaties good faith simply rewards some change. example. abandon themiftheircalculationsabout future of the statesmay investheavilyto demonstrate credibility theirpromises. See also Carlos Marichal." See RaymondL. and now theyhad to reversecourse.:Princeton University Press. 1820-1930(Princeton. is specifically the salientissue.1985). 41.Key European leaders had alreadydeclaredtheirsupport considerablepoliticalcost. thevalue of an actor'spriorreputation..

theunscrupulous to or falseexpectations creating deliberately a wayof deceiving unwary partners."mustbe in thefamiliar to "The hostageforperformance.p.1990). In eithercase. 1985). 147. treaties a conventional ofraising credibilitypromises way takes The price of noncompliance on nationalreputation adherence.moregenerally. at meansthatan agreement simply Self-enforcement any given moment. (Informalagreements cheatingwhen the opportunity simply less thantreatiesand so to susceptible these dangers.however. G.45 partners some statesare reliabletreaty if self-enforcementnot ensureit. Agreements. 853 and 859. because the state cannot use its 48. on or form a quasirentstream[eitherof profits return capital]." thefirm's reputation. even whenreputational costsare moreimportant. thatreputation be used to issues.C. effects adherenceand buttresses of reputational Nations stillcan and do break even theirmostformaland solemncommitas commitments mayuse treaty ments otherstates. are less arises. L.therecan be diplomaticenvironments which and some are not.D. Coordinating. The warranties.) But statespay a seriouspriceforacting bad This theircommitments. pricecomes for faith and." Joumalof Business53 (January 46. renouncing the adversejudicial decisionsat The Hague butfrom decline notso muchfrom in national reputationas a reliable partner." as reputation a credibleand valuable "performance .It is of particularvalue to trust transactions requiring engaged in a range of international governments these mayoutweigh and mutualreliance. whatguaranteesthewarranty? But by 45. there is loss of reputationas a reliable partner.can contribute treaty Reputation. anyreputational even can 47.pp. the are of Put simply.: Brookings American-Soviet Confrontation: Institution. bystaking several forms. to then.48 Indeed.A agreements in othercooperative is for reputation reliability important reaching Relations fromNixon to Reagan (Washington. 27-28.and the difference productmustbe above marginal the Controlling Cost of BusinessTransactions: the firm does not pay. Firmscan guaranteequality offering it items. in remains forcebecause.appropriately is reputationfor reliability one such benefit.46 and costs.agreements 511 Informal eliminatethe problemof multipleequilibria.opinionsoftheWorldCourtgainmuchoftheir reinforcing thesecoststo nationalreputation. a singleagreement be self-enforcing.Managing and Communicating.Theyraise expectations in to are less likely dupe thenaive.visible document such as a treatymagnifies self-enforcement.47 reputational for implications itsform.Justas therecan be economic goods and some sellers of shoddy with some sellers of high-quality markets in goods. ifit is divorcedfrom issues are salient. "A Theoryof Self-Enforcing 1980).which impedes futureagreeby significance ments. thanbyterminating That calculationincludesall future agreement Enhancinga discountedto givetheirpresentvalue.Of course.First.Conversely.Indeed. A poor reputationimpedes a state's futureagreements bond. Thus.pp. the priceof the of by mustbe highenoughso thatcheating cost. both of themrational.each party believes it gains more by sustainingthe benefits it. Telser." See Paul Rubin. forless expensive answerforexpensive according Rubin.othercosts and benefits can is The keypoint. cooperationand has important international support the The choice of a formal.a treaty maybreakdownifother concerns. DecisionMaking(New York: Free Press. is simply But of itemsmaybe the threat litigation.

information perfect their value. 224. a will for value of a reputation reliability be sharply long-term and mustbe consideredless profitable consequence. moreimmediate Thus.49 wherethereis some uncertainty perceivedviolation of a treatymay give rise to specific. JohnM. of of simplewithdrawal cooperationin one area to broaderforms from ranging such as the sanctions.evendistant an breaking whilethe gainsfrom worth benefits are little.opponents have considerableincentives design coalition-splitting This debate overlong-term coalitionmembers. discountedstreamof these current are valuable now. economizeson search.p. deceitful in This logic also suggestscircumstances which treaties-and. That determination largely their calculusof short-term to war are reluctant statesfacing Knowing that." 46 JoumalofEconomicHistory (March 1986). It has no place at all. responsesto violations.such as war. As discounted. JoumalofPolitical "The EconomicsofInformation. of permissible treaty violationsmay recast national reputationin a stillbroader and more but a dramaticway."Repudiationsand Confiscations the Medieval State. in All law.Treatiesthatdeclare witha wide rangeof informal lumpedtogether or alliances. of and agreements formal By or howeverformal sincere. actor'sreputation international is value of thatreputation the has forreliability a value overtime. treaties mutualsupport.establishneutralterritories. assumes can benefits also aboutfuture Greaterriskor uncertainty aboutfuture payoffs.pp. It 50.51 for oftenused to seal partnerships vital actions." Stigler. of likelihood complying Economy69 (June1961). This logic should apply to all agreements modern warfareto premoderncommerce. the violationor about compliance. enemy. of international and typically treaties are treated equally. This discountrate refersonly to the presentvalue of knownfuturebenefits. as legally bindingcommitments. however. but theyare thatmomentbecause the presentlooms largerand the weakest at precisely discounted.the circumstances. and tangible."because it future suchas a partner's behavior.adherenceto agreements of treaties:theyare to a striking This points paradox less therefore reliable.depicting nationthatis not onlyuntrustworthy is also a in one thatmakespromises orderto deceive. See George are thenreputations particularly withan agreement. all An agreements-oughtto be mostvulnerable. announcebroad policyguidelinesare 49.Organization 512 International Second. "Reputation commandsa price (or exacts a penalty).For an application of this approach to medieval by see economichistory. by strategies to same token. costsand stakesto individual the varying immediate in costs figuredprominently the Britishcabinet's debate over reputationversus short-term to commitments France beforeWorldWar I. My pointis thatifthe 52.by alliance partners. and specific noncooperation set and on GeneralAgreement Tariffs Trade (GATT). bargains. studies rarely though Thisweaknessis sometimes recognized. Of course. . Finally. theirdecisionwillbe guidedlargely reputational costsare high(relativeto longer-term of independent alliance is gainsand losses. indeed. even establisha limited althoughmosttreatiesdo not.52 moreheavily future is in emphasized."When thatsearchmustcoverunknown valuable. the law of treaties.The present When timehorizons and future benefits.costlyretaliation. third-party lackingeffective 51. the on counttoo heavily priorcommitments. present affect from enforcement.Some formalagreements. allies.underpressing to are agreement likely be such as the loomingprospectof war or economic crisis. Veitch.Whenhorizons are benefits considered are long.50 thesefuture short. 31-36."Stigleronce observed.statesoftendo go to war alongsidetheirlong-time by issues).

Richard Baxter characterized as "soft" "weak"law. opposed to self-interested adherenceand self-generated sanctions? treaties alliance weakbecausethey suchenforcement If of are lack is so international mechanisms. the further distinguish from 55." are any treaties But really founded thisexpectation external on of as enforcement. as treaties. He admits. to treaties announcing alliances broad policy guidelines are sustained of He onlyby perceptions mutualadvantage. 163."International Law in 'Her Infinite to Variety. international ismarginal themajor law political projects states. Ibid.' p. has them or noting that"ifa Staterefuses cometo theaid of another to of undertheterms an alliance. (Thesalient exception when localcourts be usedtoenforce can is international obligations. less an exception than a confirmation the weaknessof international of If are enforcement. nothing force to. are all international so There is simply bargains.Informal agreements513 notclassified separately. aremost bargains." Recueilde cours (Collected Courses of the Hague Academyof International Law)."4 calls them and "'political treaties" emphasizes their fragility: "They. "International Economic Soft Law. these three types treaty especially of are vulnerable violation renunciation.as realist is international irrelevant or politics wouldhaveit."Theirconductis determined thethreats says by such alliancesare important."He does notdefine term or it otherkindsof treaties. "States are predisposedtowardconflict and theyoftenfail to .. 169-246. That. environmentof contesting theories of sovereign powersdoes not mean. 56. of cannot think 'violations' suchinstruments."55 of simply shrinks arethefull of it What Baxter from implications this position: applies Baxteradmits.1979. institutional infrastructure more. are simply consideredtheby-products they perceive.'" p. See also Ignaz SeidlHohenfeldern. itis alsounderstood. that are concluded with expectation no of too. 551.thatcooperation largely to limited common causeagainst military foes."InternationalLaw in 'Her Infinite Variety. treaties sometimes effective to enforcement. Theirlegal status thesame as thatof anyother is and that treaty.) "political treaties" sustained of solelyby perceptions no mutualadvantage. Realistsconsidercooperationimportant onlyone sphere:military in alliances. however. vol.Itwasnever can it expected thetreaty that would be 'enforced. statesform alliancesto protect themselves."Although they of a worldfundamentally characterized conflict by and the contestforrelativegains.56 doesitmeanthat Nor conflict 53. that to of effect." Walt. in to quitegenerally all kindsof international agreements. See Baxter. diplomats jurists Yet by alike.3 or According Baxter. Baxterrefers alliances and statements broad politicalintent of (such as the Yalta Agreement)as "politicaltreaties. this to or For reason.. 550.pp. intothis essentially political dynamic. bluntly puts it. todo The realpoint to understand theseperceptions mutual of is how advantage cansupport various kinds international of and cooperation howdifferent legal such The fit forms. As Grieco and competition. are merely joint statements policywhichwill remainalive onlyso long as the States of mutual interest concert to their One concerned it to be in their see policies. " 54.' ."In anarchy.. limits judgment whathe terms He his "political treaties. See Baxter.

Walt. does It and the resourcesforit are alwaysdominantin international that the bases for cooperationare decentralizedand often mean. plaguedby Treaties. statuscan transcend agreements Rationalesforinformal Speed and obscurity on problemsof What we have concentrated thus far are the fundamental are likeless formal instruments. of difficulties noncompliance is enforcement costly. Cooperation (Ithaca. 1990).and the SALT I agreement Non-Proliferation (1979) took sevenyearsand stillfailedto win took morethantwoyears. in complexgovernments. particular withtheir To begin with.we need to move beyond the generic problems of monitoring.gainingassentcan be or If majority if the time-consuming. Nations:Europe.As such. however. legal view that treatiesare valuable because theyare bindingis traditional thesebasic and recurrent because it failsto comprehend inadequate precisely problems. "Arms Control With and WithoutAgreements.theydo not explainwhysome are applyto all kindsof international framed as joint declarationsand some as treaties. 4.We thereforeneed to along and formalagreements. N.The SALT II agreement See Kenneth Adelman.58the executivelacks a secure governing of See cooperateevenwhentheyhave commoninterests. 63 Foreign Affairs (Winter1984-85). self-enforcement. fragile.57 That usually agreementmust still win final approval fromthe signatories. formalagreements. and to information incentives defect Imperfect and betrayal. To understand the choice between treaties and informalagreements.: CornellUniversity to and Non-Taniff America. The the fulldomesticprocess of ratification.Y. of and of complexagreements theproblems adaptingto 58. bargains.The Origins Alliances Among Press. legal the neither languageof treatiesnortheirputative Unfortunately. The slownessand difficulty ratifying The United oftenlead states to choose less formalmechanisms. twosides "have abandoned the idea of drawing a over"competition ." Senate ratification.especially major 57. N.theyare the international agreement left the table. however. p. international agreements.pp. These potentialproblems and self-enforcement. the After the diplomatshave finally slowest to complete. means a slow passage through but from to differs country country. processnaturally and especiallyin democracieswithsome sharedpowers.p. treaties are the most serious and deliberate form of and are oftenthemostdetailed. theselimitations. Adelman emphasizes the slowness of negotiating yearsto complete.the withtheSoviets.: Cornell University Press. 1987).Y.and is limit agreementswhen monitoring difficult. Barriers Trade(Ithaca. considermore specificpropertiesof informal advantagesand limitations." StephenM.Organization 514 International affairs. The expected gains from noncompliance are immediate and significant. and JosephM.The LimitedTest Ban Treaty(1963) tookeight agreements (1972) Treaty(1968) took more than threeyears. Grieco. meet changingcircumstances thatchoice to deal withtheirconflicts (EC) have made exactly States and European Community up The policy"and antitrust. 240-63. x.

" Timothy and has See Stater.."See FinancialTimes. more and can likely." in United 1.embarrassedby frankdisclosuresduringthe public ratification process. TheGood Neighbors:America.S. repetitive arguments draggedon through February.62 treaty covering Extradition treatiesare commonplace. One reason U.1988). J. how "thirdparties"can have a directstakein bilateraltreaty arrangements how these diplomaticrelationships be enhanced or.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committeereportedthe bill favorably.1977-1978.61 Even when agreements are much less contentious. They use standardized language. controlover the Panama Canal. Limitsto Friendship: The United Statesand Mexico (New York: Knopf. .: Government (Washington.pp. 59.1988).59But they also faced heated opposition within U. mainly the from conservative who Republicans.C.S. D.S. Printing Office.: CornellUniversity Press. of thisissue was crucialto America'srole in the hemisphere. and a meansof settling disputes. congress and EC member states. The The 90-91. See Robert A."such as mergers and acquisitions. Panama.Informal agreements 515 legislature significant has powersofoversight. also opens it It the agreement and the silent calculus behind it to public scrutinyand time-consuming debate. and the1977 Canal Treaties (Athens:Ohio University CenterforInternational Studies. Senate.and April 1978.60 to Opponentshad a clear incentive prolongthe debate. ownership thewaterway. "because itwouldbe too complicated. 1979. according theFinancial Times.the machineryof ratification grindslowly. Castanieda. 62."Climax: Senate Ratification. can takemonths. The Panama Canal in AmericanPolitics:DomesticAdvocacyand the Evolution Policy(Carbondale: SouthernIllinoisPress. and onlythen afterintensepresidential by lobbying and some significant amendments. regularmeetingsand discussionson current cases. 1986). of 61. 190-91 and 200-205. March. pp. part3 vol. and some eighteenheads of state attendedthe finalsigning The whole episode clearlydemonstrates ceremony. The treaty debate on the Senate floor was the second longest in American history.make on to special treaty competition issues.as in the case of the relatively can straightforward criminal extradition betweenthe United States and Turkey. 60.17 January 1991.S.SignedJune7.Instead. and George D. withAppendix. See "Treatyon Extradition MutualAssistancein Criminal and MattersBetweentheUnited Statesof Americaand the Republic of Turkey. not onlyto defeatthe treatyor weaken it with unfriendly amendmentsbut also to punish treaty in in supporters particular and theDemocraticparty generalon electionday. For controversial treaties. N. When the treatieswere presentedforratification. asset and getting chargedthatAmerica was givingaway a valuable strategic nothing tangiblein return.p. The Carter administration's politicaldilemmawas nicelysummarizedby the Republican leader in the Senate.Y. StatesTreaties Other and IntemationalAgreements. 3111 ff.Enteredinto Force January 1981."in G. Limits Victory: Ratification thePanama Canal Treaties of of (Ithaca. HarveySummand Tom Kelly. ratification be veryslow and painfulindeed.1986). Howard Baker: "The Canal has a constituency the treaty no constituency. Pastor and JorgeG. some proponents werevulnerable thisissue.such as the ones ceding U. the 1978 midterm and pollingdata showed that electionswere approaching.pp. would involve and obtaining approvalofboththe the U. 159-61. numberof Latin Americanleaders A were involvedin the negotiations.1985). Michael Hogan.eds. 6. After on the exhaustive hearings.they discussedmoreflexible arrangements providing fora betterexchangeof information. This keytreaty won ratification a singlevote. Moffett. diplomatsfavoredthe Panama Canal treatieswas that Latin American stateswereso uniformly of The disposition opposed to continued U. The canal can treaties had virtually universalsupport among foreignpolicy professionals dealing with Central and South America.pp. 32.

thisformal instrument.UK: ManchesterUniversity in 63."Interview "Face theNation. courts.But there are controlunambiguously. 1980).1971). but not His authority conductforeign to but to use a treaty.At theend ofDecember. A. of That is the the affect form international agreements.S. announced that the President. treaty There was nothing procedures. such mattersgo.65 at needed a treaty. It is littlewonder.Britain. University UK: (Chichester. treaty arrangements. too. Ivor Stanbrookand Clive Stanbrook.Extradition Intemational Press. some rooted in constitutional important domesticconstraints.Organization 516 International suspectsforpolitical for standardexceptions(refusing. The President 1979. simply notextradite following done at the discretion political of Informal extradition. 141. quite willing reviewpolitical in involvement foreign to policyissuesand hold decisions. Senate approval.citedbyLoch K." It remains ambiguous.S.then. Just question. to territory Panama broad enough to hand over the canal and surrounding extradition betweenthe United criminal without Similarly. thatexecutives withoutlegislativeadvice or consent. He "could Carter would decide whetherthe Panama Canal agreements and at the propertimehe'll or present[theaccords]to the Congressas a treaty."CBS News. criminals. The fullSenate gave its consenteightdayslater. as an agreement. weekslater. course.63 nor was thereany special domesticoppositionto it. had no choice the of To cede control thePanama Canal. Barry Rose. some in legal precedent. is authorities. example.S.66 countries reciprocal requireexplicit. of TheLaw and Practice Extradition 66.to extradite crimes).some eighteenmonths and it enteredintoforcethe nextday.p. . forinstance. courtsrarely to whichare normally trueeven forU. From there. and reportedfavorably 20 November1979.thatgovernments that preferinstruments theycan It instruments. and some in the shifting balance of domesticpower.1984).p. prerogatives. permittedin some countrieswithjudicial systemsbased on and mostothercommonlaw Roman civillaw. of on whichbears directly the civilrights accused Aside fromextradition. It was signedon 7 June proceeded at a statelypace. in on makethatdecision. is a constitutional as mustbe submitted treaties whatagreements 65. MattersBetweentheUnited and 64. States and Turkey will defendants without commonlaw precedent.theU. ratification transmitted to the Senate in earlyAugust. Americancourts. xxvii.butalso a questionof thepoliticalbalance of powerbetweentheCongressand of HamiltonJordan.At one point. I. side. The between the governments took place two formalexchange of ratifications the proclaimed treaty.64 after initialdocuments the more convenient prefersimpler. unusual about the U.The Senate Foreign Relations it on as Committeeacted quickly. is plain. President 1981. But the United States. and leave room for both policy discretion and ordinarycourt withTurkey. See "Treatyon Extradition MutualAssistancein Criminal StatesofAmericaand the Republicof Turkey.Theytry avoid direct to thisnarrowline even when largerconstitutional questionsarise. Shearer. President is affairs broad.S. Johnson The the CongressConfronts Executive(New York: New York Agreements: Making of Intemational Press. They have Law (Manchester.1 January had been signed. were treatiesor not.Turkeydid for not complete its ratification anotheryear.PresidentCarter'schiefof staff. in late November 1980. least on the U.

See theWar PowersResolution. 5.because itrecognized The for chap.. See The of limits and requiredonlynotification.Senate Committeeon the Judiciary.92d Congress.Y.1980. of Agreements: Congressional Oversight Executive Congress. 13 Register. 3475. It also without at least notifying internationalcommitments conflicts passing by disputedthe President'scontrolover undeclaredforeign theWar PowersResolution.68 Duringthe finalyearsof the VietnamWar. providesthatthe President"shall have power. is constitutionally as notice that informalagreementshad proliferatedunacceptablyand had bid for The assumedimportant implications policymaking. Case Act tentatively and to open theseback channelsto legislative supervision broaderdebate. July 1981. The U.S. 92-591. and 46 Federal see 1988. 1972. instance. committee found one sortor another[were]made.therewas nevera majority wouldrequireinformal the that thesepolitical be submitted ratification. U. Case Act succeeded.92d Congress. Section2. 1972. see The originalact was Public Law 92-403. . and 50 United 69."69 Anothercongressional withforeign governcontracted that"there [had] been numerousagreements ments in recent years. sinceit did notrequirecongressional approvalforall agreements But requiredfortreaties. ArticleII. See Baxter. done little." For a detailed studyof the constitutional (Mineola. Senators presentconcur.Informal agreements 517 for to the agreements."70 law-the Case Act-which promoted congressionaloversightof informal It to agreements. 35917 ff. on on of 70.For the amendedversion. "InternationalLaw in 'Her InfiniteVariety. Foreign and Affairs theConstitution StatesCode 1541-48.pp.The State Department finally issued implementation StatesCode 112b. 2d Senate Reportno. Making IntemationalAgreements. Constitution. See also U.Transmittal ExecutiveAgreements to Congress.. 1973. The Case Act passed the Senate and House overwhelmingly 1972 and has been amended in regulations 1981.pp. see Louis Henkin.S.: FoundationPress. 3-4. of The Senate. in 71. restrict widespreaduse ofexecutive to whichevade the Senate's constitutional right give"advice and consent"on formal treaties. during periodfrom particular. of 72.a congressionalcommittee agreementsand discovereda "vast mass of investigated use of informal the . correspondence in whichundertakings agreements. This law fell shortof equating informal two monthsof their conclusion. particularly nature..72 it did serve informal bargains.S.'" pp. when the President'sauthority over foreignaffairs was most bitterly contested. of and commitments. wanteda moredirectrole in shapinginformal to agreements the 1950sthrough 1980s.in part. sess. providedtwo-thirds the of by and withthe Advice and Consentof the Senate. the U..S. Johnson.67 agreements Despite the courts'reluctanceto rule on these issues. issues. 1 United part 181. Stat. 67. 87 68.which agreementsof a military The result was a to remain[ed] wholly unknown Congressand to thepeople. in activism.Informal agreementsshift power toward the In and awayfrom legislature. For implementing regulations. Congress. 554-55. 22 Code ofFederalRegulations. N. severaltimessince then. recentdecades. sess.555. Congress the executive responded by publicly challengingthe President's right to make serious the Senate.informal of for do raise important questionsabout the organization stateauthority the conduct of foreign affairs.71 withtreaties. international agreements. requiredthat the State Departmenttransmit Congressall of within including written versions oral agreements.1972). A detailed study the Case Act showsthe limits congressional the But agreements. Senate Committee ForeignRelations. to make treaties. 2d Hearings S.

tionalimpactofexogenousshocksor unexpected inflexible bargainsbehind reluctant make long-term. can durationso thatall participants calculate theirrisks of informal) limited and benefitsunder the agreementwith some confidence.theycraftagreements cooperationdespitethe uncertainties.These two rationalesare often for and each is sufficient in but intertwined. to States are naturally this veil of ignorance. economicissues. states can always abandon their could complicate treatymaintenance. of about the distribution is flexibility usefulifthereis considerableuncertainty In benefits under a particular agreement.These changescould sabotage in macroeconomic The consequences agreements. Termination.market the dangerstheypose forbreach of treaty obligations and such uncertainties withgreater flexibility. restricting can Such developments produce costsforone side.Organization 518 International agreementsare oftenchosen because they then. cooperation.see 73. a fluctuation or schedules. each is important its own right.for underexisting involvean unacceptablesurgein imports might nationsmight affairs. Downs and Rocke. Put another way. By weapons systems.thereis no guaranteethat despitepossiblewindfall agreement not be might otherswill do the same.in eitherabsoluteor relative winners unexpected the value of existingcontractualrelations.In security or progress the potentialfornew about the rate of technological be uncertain armstreatiesmay existing these innovations. For one model of how technical innovations chap. TacitBargaining. of 74. together ties about future benefits. changing change. to allow governments act quicklyand quietly. institutional or (includingagreements)can magnify diminishthe distribuarrangements changes. in national interests particularinternational tradepacts. TheStrategy Treaty . David.thisuncerfuture taintymay arise because of a shiftin production functionsor demand or products. theyinclude under specifromcommitments withdrawal thatpermitlegitimate provisions In fied terms and conditions.theuse of new rawmaterials substitute or conditions exchangerates. presenceof or strategic volatility.Strategicarms treatiesof severalyears' durationare a good example. meansofinternational informal choosing Uncertainty and renegotiation reason: different may also be favoredforan entirely agreements Informal This to and are they moreeasilyrenegotiated less costly abandon thantreaties. Second.74 practice. change and losers. Even if one state is committedto upholding an gainsor losses.informal To summarize.73 future createunexpected and terms. self-sustainingthereis an unexpected of withthe difficulties self-enforcement. example. The crucialpointis thatan agreement in Such uncertainif asymmetry benefits. of foster pursuit substitute the arrangements States use several basic techniques to capture the potential gains from (formalor First. of underconditions rapidtechnological to reliability pose seriousthreats treaty The vulnerabilities. andArmsControl.or the collapse of producercartels. 5. ArmsRaces.

because OPEC members to theyprovidethe opportunity OPEC meetings: anotherreason forfrequent at threats cheaters."OPEC Peace May Be Short-Lived Debate European edition.statessometimes are endangeredindustries.agreements 519 Informal is since enforcement so costlyand problematic.1988).It permitsthe Contracting Safeguard Selective See by disrupted imports.coveredonlythe second halfof the agreed to meet again in year.p. direct collective pressureand individual To facilitatethese negotiations. commitments..forexample.12 June1989. it does nottranscend framework facilitate can institutional Parties to offer 75. June1989. 76. The real pointof such treaty despite encouragestatesto cooperateinitially and costsofwithdrawal thereby Third. See JamesTanner and Allanna Sullivan.While the OPEC agreements critically Countries(OPEC) do exactly and are centralto theireconomicperformance. Typicalwas the communiqu6issued in late 1983 at the conclusionof OPEC's sixty-ninth ceilingof 17. to important the participants to they are framedinformally permitrapid shiftsin response to changing is of Once again.5 millionbarrelsper day and its marker conference. 196. thereare important is cheaton their quotas."These The at are agreements designedto lastforonlya fewmonths. restatedOPEC's production It (Cambridge:Cambridge Years priceof $29. Looms on New Quotas.75 Finally. as 78. in the UruguayRound: A Comprehensive pp. But OPEC's reasons for existence-its price and productionquotas-are set out in informalagreementsand targeting oil conferencecommuniques.pp. "The SafeguardIssue Law (Deventer.or at least it hopes to be."Joumalof WorldTrade25 (October 1989).Its controlis incomplete OPEC does not entirely to because thereare alternatives non-OPEC producers. Afterall. 73-92. theyincorporateprovisionsthat permit the risks and uncertainties.This cheating and petroleum. is a producercartel.there is a small formal organization. substantive significance. headquartered in Vienna.theform agreements notdictatedbytheir market conditions. international then. GATT escape clauses. theministers three months to review market conditions and quotas. . and PeterKleen. TradeRelations: in Measures Multilateral Kluwer.OPEC: Twenty-Five ofPricesand Politics Press. to emergency protection industries and in IssuesofProtectionism GATT.78OPEC's formal.Netherlands: United States Approach.77 oil output quotas reached in June1989. Its basic strategy quotas forindividualmembers.p. the by goal is to enhancenationalrevenues managing world OPEC's primary is It oil market. a well-known frametheir agreementsin purelyinformaltermsto permittheir frequent Exporting of of The adjustment. or but negotiations. 1 and 10."Economist.at least twicea yearand sometimes on meetings an irregular frequent and demand is hard to forecast. which permit post hoc protectionof example. See Ian Skeet. Ibid. 88.1985). ArticleXIX of the GATT covers safeguards. obligations.is to lowerthe generalreputational terms.That entails to achieve price targetsthrough schedule. and "A Joumal. more ifconditions because controlthe supply. 1.EuropeanCommunity.approved by participating ministers." WallStreet 10 of Confederacy Cheats. period or a limitedset of coveringeither a temporary partial withdrawal. Marco Bronckers.As soon as the bargainwas sealed.introduction chap. most. University and 77. quota agreements theOrganization Petroleum are that. energy warrant.

in Strongtreatycommitments.as had admission. 80.Organization 520 International Whatreally matters states. affairs. duly by detailedpubliccommitments. Following same logic.too. OPEC's founders section. ratified nationalpolitical Theyrepresent and an wouldstillneed to identify punish authorities. especiallysince otherkindsof production Monitoring partialban would be extremely a uses. requirelong lead timesto build and deploy. 237." See Skeet. treaty weapons ceilings. in dropped by 1964 and disappeared formally 1966. Whether subjectis nuclearor conventional forces." "International Cooperationin Economic and Security pp. Affairs.would not expose them to the Both sides are confident that of surprisedefection.then.whose production difficult. The there was even an enforcement negotiating forum. mustconfront termsand a timeframe to the principally restricting agreement verifiable by The institutional arrangements excludesnewweapons systems. thatessentially they are thustailoredto theenvironment regulate.. party Although aggrieved or any alleged breach.81 produceand deploycountervailing Followingthis logic. is The military environment be regulated relatively adversaries. termsof formality.As a Modernweapons systems result. 1-23.OPEC: Twenty-Five as been visualizedat itscreation. some clear advantagesin armscontrol. YearsofPricesand Politics. withdrawing treatyand pursuingtheir own weapons programsat an accelerated pace. if the from by could cope withmajortreaty violations. arms control on for long withdetailedlimitations specific weaponssystems relatively treaties They do so uncertainties. some important periods. covering chemicaland 81. could be converted military to facilities . On the importanceof surprisefor cooperation in security World Politics37 (October 1984). see Charles Lipson. meeting formaldocuments a institution. They. in lie At the other end of the spectrum. thatOPEC and itsSecretary amountedto an "implicit armofitsmembers. does so deliberateviolations(or.the use of treatiesraises the politicalcosts of flagrant It punishment). specific weapons categories.80 possibility a devastating can detectmajorviolationsin timeto theirsatellitesand human intelligence weapons.bothsideshavebeen cautiousabouttreaties the to have been muchmore difficult detect. an operating p. necessary.American and Soviet negotiatorshave always aimed at Discussionsduringa summit withfullratification. otherwords.In the originalorganization.at least in nuclearweaponry.Moreover. forthatmatter. This transformation sectionwas effectively Generalwouldnotact. most arms controlagreementshave been set out in testbans or the form.79 purposesofthemember transform immediate the on agreements crude but organization the nexusof informal is not the formal and oil production themembers'(uneven) compliance. merely not had hoped to create an operatinginternational 79. treaties offer Giventheseconditions. unprovoked the bymaking disputesmoresalientand accessibleand byunderscoring gravity both sides feel thatthey of promises. militarycapacity and technologicaladvantages shiftslowly within these new techniques.. and deployment biologicalweapons. can be projected with some so the costs and benefitsof treatyrestraints confidence overthemediumterm.Withmodernsurveillance technologicalcapacities are not opaque to weapons programsand shifting to stable.

PresidentReagan made a similarstatement on arms(the START talks). TheSALTAgreements. Sovietviolations. Still. Senate."85 practice.the absence of effective of issuedbyU. 19. 17 May 1982.the Presidenthimself For did but make a similaracknowledgment.p." 709. Presidential of CarterdeclaredthattheUnitedStateswouldcontinueto observetheterms the 86.no.Informal agreements 521 for an arms or a walk in the woods may lay the essential groundwork in agreement.S. In his "Remarks at Memorial Day Ceremoniesat Arlington we strategic arms agreements. Department Stateon 4 March1981and citedbyTalbottin 83. vol. 330. See Calvo-Gollerand Calvo. Deadly Gambits. In the 1984 Defense international existing Authorization Act.S. 84.however." willrefrain from actionswhichundercut Compilation of 85. President criticized exceedinghis legal for and was roundly interim afterits expiration SALT II agreement powers.equipped withcruisemissiles. . courtmight a to pertained domestic thatifthediscussions 82. 18. Publicstatement p. international promissory language.82 but of Over the history superpowerarms control.buta final majority.at least untilthe SALT II agreement on strategic agreements offensive but 1985.who had campaignedagainst SALT II.84 at the He same timehe continuedto criticize SALT and actuallystatedthatthe United States would observeonlythose portionsof the agreement dealing "withthe In the monitoring each other'sweaponry.In added thatthe Sovietsmustalso pursuea new agreement strategic weaponswhen on SALT limits strategic December 1986. finally so in May 1982. well over a year. theyare notagreements themselves. providedthe Soviet Union did the same. United States did not of limitations specific on exceed the treaty's weapons forsome years.the and ambiguous. declined to make any "parallel unilateral policy declarations. necessary two-thirds existence. quoted in Weekly Documents.Once again. binding. JohnLehman.86 commitments alwaysinformal was Perhaps scope of official and encoded signalswere the most that could be these tacit arrangements the salvagedfrom failedtreaty.Even then.Of course.theUnitedStatesexceeded theaggregate the intoservice."83 languageis actually diplomatic while a treaty pending is the standardway to acknowledgelegal obligations refusedto ratification.however." The Congress was not so inhibited.filled with It contractual details and the languageof bindingcommitments. the date of the SALT II agreement. United Statesdefendeditsactionsas a sanctionfor expiration p.it declaredthatthe United States shouldnot undermine expiredin December arms. theotherhand. interpret bargains.one yearafter original itput a newB-52. Membersof After ratification foundered. p. The hawkish secretary the navy. announcedthatthe United States should not complywitheitherSALT I or SALT II. dependingon the levelof detail and the in these"agreements principle"as contractually courtsmatters. treaty the liveda twilight debated the matter withno guidancefrom the Reagan administration publicly of above. had majority in votewas neverheld because itlackedthe support theU. the SALT II could be classifiedas a major informal SALT negotiatorshad actually produced a formal agreement.announcedthattheUnitedStateswould"take on so no actionthatwouldundercut existing agreements longas the SovietUnion a code: itis the This exercises same restraint. National Cemetery. "As forexisting statement: PresidentReagan made the following themso longas the SovietUnion showsequal restraint. Presidentialresponse to a question on 13 May 1982. His successor. Note. 225. The State Department. 635.onlythe tacitobservanceof agreement.

88 This self-generated complianceis crucial in superpowerarms control. Common Understandings. however. 23. had been written it with a limitedlife span so that it applied in predictableways to existing weaponry. 3435-61.withits more advanced economy. of Vernon's"obsolescingbargain. As the military setting changes.S. permanentlimitson U.signatoriesmay be temptedto defectas theydevelop new and unforeseen advantagesor become more vulnerableto surprisedefection. 89. Like mostarmscontrolagreements. The preference was thatonce supported orderings cooperation may no longer hold.49-51.S.pp. Printing Office. 1972. ensurethattreatiesremainvaluable overtheirentirelifespan. with Agreed Interpretations.Managing RisksofInternationalAgreement. would provetoo costly it if perception thattheyare valuable and thatcheating were matchedby the other side or if it caused the agreementto collapse To altogether. Bilder. it mayprovidethose approach. UnilateralStatements. used to manage risksin a wide rangeof international agreements.Given the relativeequalityof power."It is a variant Hobbes's critique covenants. in after one side has alreadyreceiveditsbenefits. whichone side of in performs side of the bargainfirst. D. Enterprises (New York: Basic Books.: Government InternationalAgreements.writing foreign on investments.the possibilities of missiledefensehave advanced considerably. .90 Since its ratification 1972. to new and unforeseen not Time limits liketheseare developments. The United States.S.Such agreements vulnerableto and are This is one elementof noncompliance midstream.Sovereignty Bay: TheMultinational its See at Spreadof U.Armscontrol agreements mustcope with thesefluctuating benefits overthelifeoftheagreement. in itsinformal guise. and Soviet in missiledefenses. That has been one of the dilemmas in the missile(ABM) treaty recent surrounding antiballistic years. On the generallogic of self-sustaining see agreements. has widened its lead in the relevantnew technologies of 87.-Soviet military are not so much agreements What sustainsthem is each participant's enforcedas observedvoluntarily."A Theoryof Self-Enforcing Agreements. 88. pp." 27-44.U. This allows negotiators make reasonable calculationsabout the variousparties'expost to incentives defectduring lifeof theagreement. to the 90. The ABM treatyestablishedstrict. 1971).87 They are especially importantin cases of superpower arms control. thateach will the so in choose to complyout of self-interest orderto perpetuatethe treaty. to whenevaluatedat each pointduring lifeof theagreement. The idea is to forgeagreements thatprovidesufficient benefits each side. 1973). the pp. RaymondVernon. See "Limitationof Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems." United and in StatesTreaties and Other vol.actually survived beyondtheexpiration date of the proposed treaty.C. Telser.89 expiration When agreementsstretchbeyond this finitehorizon. RaymondVernon. negotiators typically to restrict try That translates intofixed dates. them to knownweaponryand stockpiles.522 International Organization SALT II.part4 (Washington. issues thatwere not fully anticipated whenthe agreement made. shownthe dangersof violating has this to benefits both sides.Signed May 26.existing commitments become moreor less desirable. in which the desirability specific of agreements relatedbothto particular is weaponry and to the overallstrategic balance. Even if an agreement providessignificant to benefits one side immediately to the othermuchlater.

That meant rapid to agreementon a few crucial issues. the Although issuesare crucialto nationaldefense.Informal agreements 523 relied on microelectronics. Sovietshad President put forwarda number of inconsistent proposals for settlement. the were agreement.are likely be in treaty Hidden agreements When securityissues must be resolved quicklyor quietlyto avoid serious will are conflict. with implementation followquickly. they an The deal to removemissilesfrom Cuba was crafted through exchangeof the letters.1987). of whichlack external enforceformal instruments. however. The Reagan administration thissuperiority develop the strategic to defenseinitiative (SDI) and urged a The reinterpretation the ABM treaty orderto testsome of itsweaponry. so sensitive diplomatically the agreement in preCooperative arrangements such issues.Colo. regulatea shifting unpredictable of All of these issuesrefer the detailedregulation slow-changing to strategic environments. of in dispute over how to interpretthe ABM treatyis thus grounded in the in shift consequences of these new technologies and in the slow. as These informal exchangeswere not the prelude to agreement. and international to environment. The termswere a clear U. in SALT or ABM negotiations. These issuesare thesubjectofan extensive Press. The Technology. forexample.If theterms especially would humiliate one party convey or unacceptsensitive.The Sovietsgotnothing publicly.theCuban missilecrisis. is public and the treatiesare registered withthe United Nations. Strategy Politics SDI (Boulder. 91.91 The debate illustrates.S. acceptance of the bargain was set out in diplomaticmessages sent PresidentKennedy also sent his brotherRobert to to directly Khrushchev.: Westview and of are because ratification 92.. thenless formal instruments be chosen. literature. U. cumulative once again. Theywerehumiliated. essence ofthebargainwas thatthe Cuba in return America'spledgenot for Sovietswouldremoveall missiles from to invade the island. ment. thesehiddenagreements informal systems.S.Kennedyaccepted itsbasic terms The deadlineforSovietcounteracceptance. See. settled the most informaland secret exchanges between the superpowers. nationaladvantagestheyhave produced.Cimbala. neither condition applied and secrettreaties . accordingto the arguments to form. In moderninternational politics. by Duringthecrisis. ed.StephenJ. and lasers.then the agreementitselfmay be hidden fromview. of Premier Khrushchev's letter 26 Kennedyrespondedto themostconciliatory: and set a quick October 1962. perhapsbecause they able precedents. victory. the difficulties usingrigid.92 The was by mostdangerous crisisofthenuclearera. supplemented secretoral promises.theyare not itself mustbe hiddenfrom that view. software.The overridingaim was to defuse the immediate threat. They completely overturnedthe Soviet policy of puttingnuclear missiles in the Western Hemisphere. The nextday.In earlierinternational werepossible. sentedhere.

Reflections theCubanMissileCrisis.S. A concessionon the Turkishmissiles could notbe partof the Cuban missileagreement.Each side would have missiles based near its gotten its adversaryto remove some threatening The United States. . Kennedy. intentions with respect to the Jupiter missileswould change. because they not doubted that the missileswould be removedbut because theywanted some creditfortheirremoval.524 International Organization speak withSoviet AmbassadorAnatolyDobrynin. He informed Dobryninthatif the Soviet Union publishedanything claiming that there was such a deal. of 1971). again seeking some direct. Robert Kennedy informed Dobryninthat the United States would not unilaterally withdraw missiles thathad been stationedtherebyan allied decisionmade bytheNorth AtlanticTreatyOrganization(NATO). Dobrynin "returnedthe draft Khrushchev and categorically letter. tookan unsigned letter Dobrynin from Khrushchev to Robert Kennedy on 29 October 1962. 94.and NATO quietly removed agingmissiles its from and Italywithin months. weakness. "Robert Kennedy called on back the nextday. Ibid.pp. RobertF.Their aim was to salvagesome threadofvictory from the diplomatic confrontation. The Soviets had pressedthispointbefore. rejectedanysuchwritten exchange. The Soviets could then claim some in symmetry the outcome of the Cuban missilecrisis." accordingto RaymondGarthoff.-Soviet relations. and it would negatively reflecton the U.S.and for some time the United States had been themunilaterally.Dobrynin had asked iftheUnited Stateswould also removeits from older missiles Turkey(and perhapsItaly)as partof the deal. on reviseded. Garthoff.C. bargainingfroma position of overwhelming territory.S. now anyagreement remove considering But withdrawing to themwould acquire a markedly different meaning. Thirteen Days:A Memoir theCubanMissileCrisis(New York: Norton. as Whileframed a unilateral and itsimmediate disclosureto choice. 86-87. 1989). but one that mustremaininvisible.The Sovietsdropped the matter. 95 n. conveyU. the U. however informal. RaymondL. pledge. The Sovietscontinued pressforsomewritten to assurances.That is exactly what the Sovietswanted: a visible quid pro quo.96 six Turkey 93.written commitment the Turkishand Italian missiles. on Reflections theCubanMissileCrisis. (Washington. acceptance to and to add severalpointsthatwere too sensitive includein anydocumentato tion."95 This part of the deal remained secret and deniable. simply Havingsaid this.itstiming theSovietswereclearly designedto help settletheCuban missilecrisis.pp. 108-9. nuclear superiority. D. The Turkish missiles were no longer strategically important.94 to the thisas a firm Bothsidesunderstood lest it signal any U. The Soviets said nothingpublicly. visible linkage. Garthoff. refused this direct.93 Years later.: Brookings Institution. 96.S. p. 95. the substance of their conversation became public.the President's brother thenstatedthatthe United States "expected" the Turkish missiles "be gone" soon after crisis.

eds. thegoal ofextracting anyway. They could do nothing deter Germany.theypermitted the signatories develop markedly to different conceptions about theirimpliedcommitments allies. Edward Grey. whichI find moreconvincing. in See no.accordingto some participants-butit was couched in even moreinformal terms because ofpoliticalsensitivity. 87.98 as Hidden agreementscarryanother potential cost.. Soviet p." Garthoff. Gooch and Harold Temperley.and to other government agencies. to a lesser extent. P. Frenchwill neverforgive There would also I think a generalfeelingthatwe had behaved us.. and potentiallyquite rewarding. Hidden agreementscarrylittle information about the depth of the signatories'commitments. See Reflections on theCuban MissileCrisis.p. can Once again. British Documentson theOrigin the War. We will never know with certainty. viewpoint.Moreover.That is exactly whattheUnited Statesdidwith the agingTurkishand Italian missiles. The counterargument. 88 and 94-95.to allies.in G." document 299. the one hand. From the U. The ententeagreements.S. Given the highstakes in Cuba.with its role in NATO.They were embodied in an exchangeof messages. thislow On profile maybe a valuable tool of bureaucratic executivecontrol.1898-1914. be badlyand left Francein thelurch.discussedthe dilemmasposed by Sir theseexpectations. If thisexpectation disappointed. Even if the agreementdoes stay hidden. to whichdid not know about them. 3 (London: His Majesty'sStationery of Office.. 98. there are costs to be considered. These costs are to in clearlyexemplified the secrettreatiesbetween Britainand France before World War I.it was wise to make the concessionspart of the bargaining:they were minor. 266. with additionalconcessionsand sealingthefinal bargain.itspresencecouldwell suggest deception-to thepublic. . ratherthan in a singlesigned document. behaviorwas probablylittlechanged by the Turkishside-payment. If a hidden agreementis exposed. signedbya previousBritish government. however. This kind of concernwith external imagesis one reasonwhyinformal are agreements used forpolitically sensitive bargains:they be hidden..Informal agreements 525 The bargainsthatended the Cuban missilecrisis were all informal. see also pp.but at least the keypointswere in writing. itwas in thiscase. secret. On theotherhandtheprospect a European warand ofour of beinginvolved itis horrible..97 The in sensitivity thiscase was America'sconcernwithits image as a greatpower and. clevernegotiators "bargainaway"concessionsthatwouldhave as can been undertaken The tacticis to makethemappear contingent. thatthe Sovietssoughttheirremovalas partof is the bargaining Cuba and the United States did. poorly bind successor and governments. on agree thatit "expected" to remove them. They may not be well understoodinside a signatory's own government.vol. its secrecy imperilsits reliability..When information is imperfect. "created in France a beliefthatwe shallsupport is the [theFrench]inwar. In 1906. It is sometimes arguedthattheTurkish and Italian missiles were notpartof anydeal.while minimizing reputational the costs of any apparent concessions. since theUnited Stateswouldsoon have removed themeven ifthe Sovietshad notraisedthe issue. their but motivesand theirdegree of informality differed. in effect.the BritishForeignMinister. Garthoff calls thisdecision"an additionalsweetener"that"certainly made it easier forKhrushchev accept the basic over-the-table to settlement.The Americandecisionwas timedand disclosedspecifically encourageSovietacceptance to of the largerdeal. fail to signal intentions thirdparties. The keydecisionsto remove missilesfromCuba in exchangefor a pledge of noninvasion were informal because of timepressure.. The removalof outdatedTurkishand Italian missiles was also partof the overallbargain-an essentialpart. 1928). or excluding 97.

Withconsiderable finallyagreed to help. Congressneverknewthatthe Europeans were actuallycooperating In with the American effort. The Stateand AmericanForeign Press. usuallybeginon an informal. .1988). Both sides.. See Michael Mastanduno.They framean agreementin more adverse implications specific adversaries.The pointis not so muchto keep linkage announced)butto limit sometimes thedealingssecret(theyare.but neitherwants to prejudice its claim to be the sole legitimate of contactsand of government China.eds. 136.. sess. N. 82d Congress. 100. avoid anyformal usingthird-party estranged governments. To succeed.formal are agreements less for Precisely thatreasoninformal precedent. because theembargo demandedsecrecy the U.the Congress actually aid passed a law to cut offforeign to Europe if the allies did not aid in the embargo. can profitfromcommercial exchange."' it the function anothersignificant has implication: limits Thisweak signaling even ifthe agreements as precedents. See MutualDefense AssistanceControl 65 Stat. Second.hiddenagreements become a comedyof agreement.644. Economic Policy(Ithaca. mayalso be conductedindirectly. to diplomatic usefulas precedentsand more usefulwhen stateswant to limitany broader. to any larger issues.Organization 526 International in internaotheragencies fromdirectparticipation makingor implementing otherhand. mentsare generally available as models. 99. low-level basis to avoid anyimplicit forinstance. errors. of bargains. the maywell provecostlyiftheiractionsmustlaterbe coordinatedas partof the can When thathappens. of recognition widerclaims. Quiet reassurancesfrom State Department aidingthe embargo. Alliance ExportControlPolicyin theEarlyPostwarPeriod."in G.whichsaw themas self-serving anticommunist by distrusted a hard-line. treaties are considered better evidence of and to convention international according diplomatic deliberatestatepractice.: and Michael Mastanduno.its efforts to maneuvers Congress.Trade relations between relationships to contract entrepots.99 confusedbelligerence. for example."Trade as a Strategic diplomatic preserve David A. the ignoranceof the excluded actors On tional agreements. understoodas contributing are agreements conventionally law.West European governments was so unpopularat home. agreements diplomatic value of informal agreehas are themselves public. Lake. to to exports the Soviet Americaneffort restrict One exampleis thepostwar bloc. the embargoneeded European support.p. Public. Relations betweenthe People's Republic of China and Taiwan have been for conductedinformally theseveryreasons. Althoughthe State Departmentdid tryto persuade Congressthat WesternEurope was were the were in vain. Discussionsbetweenlong-time circumscribed waysthan a treaty.First.S. The resultis a proliferation informal often using overseas Chinese as middlemen.Y.in fact. CornellUniversity 1st Act of 1951 ("Battle Act"). but they reluctance.Hong Kong and agreements. This limitation two sources.informal and so theyare less readily less visible and prominent. Weapon: Americanand ties. JohnIkenberry.As a result.

informalagreementsare useful because they facilitatecooperation on specificissues while constraining any wider implications regardingother issues or thirdparties. Because informal extradition arrangements ad hoc. absence of formal this tiescontributes their to roleas intermediaries. These figures. .butthereis some kindof explicit bargain. theyare easilysevered. now occupies "a unique positionof advantagein the conductof informal relations"betweenthem. Giventhelong-standing over controversy diplomatic recognition.Informal agreements 527 Singapore.It means that extradition issues are directly implicatedin the largerissues of bilateraldiplomacy.accordingto Michael Leiferand Michael Yahuda.with their large populations of ethnic Chinese. Ibid. have frequently servedas intermediaries.p. 2.Would that and by the documentreferto the Republic of China or to the provinceof Taiwan? Eitherreference would concede a much largerissue: diplomaticrecognition. whichwere reported TheNew YorkTimes. form maybe written or oral. Three mainland police flew to Singapore with their prisonerand transferred to Taiwanese officers return theisland.102 Singapore. The same channels have been used extensively overseas Chinese by communities arrangeforburialsor to visitthegravesof ancestors to on interred themainland. 17.For example. 1. up from$1 billion in the mid-1980s. 105. least amongtheparticipants themselves.p.l03 April 1989. Note thatSingaporeand Hong Kong do not have formal diplomatic relations witheither the People's Republic of China or Taiwan.until now.5 billion.That is a are mixed blessing.In 1989. back channels. 104.101 Hong Kong is particularly well located to facilitateindirecttrade and investment betweenTaiwan and themainland.p.would present insurmountableproblems. In this case and in many others. on informalbargains that are openly at The expressed. Theycannotbe treatedas distinct. him for to A regularizedprocedure.thebloodysuppression popularuprisings 1989in thePeople's Republicof of in China blockedprisoner exchanges and made tradeand investment politically ties riskier. They permitbounded cooperation. "ThirdParty China?" working paper. best way to maintainlinksto both the mainlandand the island is through the these informal.. ?5 The statusoftacitagreements We have concentrated.1989.thiscommerce reached $3. Far from beingan impediment. 101.which has cultivated politicalties to both countries.detailedor general. 102. Michael Leiferand Michael Yahuda.London School ofEconomics.like the extradition treaty betweenthe United States and Turkey. owntreaty technical issuescoveredbytheir rules. 103. It would require documentation namedthetwosignatories was ratified them.Singaporeservedas the In conduit for the first known criminalextradition fromthe mainland to the island.104 moreformal.are based in on data from Ministry EconomicAffairs Taiwan and the government Hong Kong and of the in in include trade and investment routed throughHong Kong companies to avoid Taiwanese restrictions.14 April1990.

Peace.chap. The unspoken "rules" of the Cold War are sometimesconsidered tacit spheresof influstaked out theirrespective agreements. Treaties Force (1963). U. They made no Union. 106. Green.whichhad been converted effort rollback the Sovietarmy's in amounted to intoharshpoliticaldominion thelate 1940s. In 1948. See also L. Norms and Decisions(Cambridge:Cambridge University Press. U. not as of any legal effect transferring governments vol.. This definition based on the second meaningof "tacit" in The Oxford is 2d ed. P. Rules. In the States in question. Unspoken Rules and Superpower Dominance.S.108 because of reinterpreted these agreementsor considered them irrelevant Sovietviolations.in an aide-memoire the Japanese government. ence and did notdirectly on agreements eitherpoint. are not explicit. In the earlyyears of the Cold War.p.America'srestraint Moscow's rea spheres-of-influence policy withoutactuallyacknowledging the This silence onlyconfirmed Soviets'worstfears gional security interests. ed. See Keal.107 superpowers The Yet they made no explicit engageeach other'sforces. at least rhetorically. p. vol. See of TwilightExistence of NonbindingInternationalAgreements.1989). 17 (Oxford:ClarendonPress. and contributed bipolarhostilities.p.however. and FriedrichKratochwil.His legitimate security interests Eastern Europe and should not be challengeddirectly viewswerewidely denouncedin bothpartiesand won fewvotes. 107.They are implied. carrying the however. vol. sensitive but superficial appearanceof agreement notitssubstance. the other hand.S." Department StateBulletin. the United States quietlyconceded de factocontrolover Eastern Europe to the Soviets.Such bargains. Earlier conferencesat Yalta and Potsdam had seemed to do so. . Sir Hersch Lauterpacht on binding said thatthey"incorporated definite rulesof conductwhichmaybe regardedas legally explicitly rejectedthatview. inferred of Theygo beyondthesecrecy cooperation. on Such implicit or ratherthan directly stated. Lauterpacht. 788. 3.S. Republicans denounced themas immoralor even treasonous. ed.1989). 498) and in U. 1 of H. politicians the representing leftwingof the Democraticparty. to no In the bitter climateof the earlyCold War period.S. Intemational Longmans. ." The Britishand Americangovernments to 1956. L. . StateDepartment publishtheYalta Agreement theExecutive The did in Agreements Series(no.conceding nothingto the Soviets in English Dictionary. are issues. State Departmentdeclared that"the the as a of purposesby UnitedStatesregards so-calledYalta Agreement simply statement common the in the heads of the participating and . 527. cited by Schachterin "The territories. 1948). all too oftenmirages.106 arrangeunderstood. 109. A fewinternational lawyers arguedthatthe Yalta and Potsdamagreements in treaty commitments.. (London: Oppenheim. but now these While Democrats concessions were pushed aside. 1956. both diplomatically wartime to gains. 7th Law: A Treatise.S. official was prepared to concede the Soviets' dominancein Eastern Europe."p. were binding 108. 35.Wallace openlystated that the Soviets had in there. The policiesthatlaid thebasis forNATO were designedto containthe Soviet and militarily. The one majorexception amongU. 298 n. at times.section487. vice was former president HenryWallace. foreign the language of universalfreedoms. 484. policy was couchedin sentiments.528 International Organization Tacit agreements. nothing but more. mentsextendthescope ofinformal on oral agreements maybe the onlywayto avoid seriousconflict and.109 Backed bythesedomestic U.

77-90. 110. but How does tacit acceptance of this kind compare with the informal in explicitbargains we have been considering?They are quite different so-calledtacit problemin analyzing I The mostfundamental principle. ed. The problem.the United States tacitly up Sovietcontrol to thebordersofWest Germany. and 64 (Winter1985-86). Schelling's D. subject to the independent bargain Whatlookslikea silent choicesmade or expectedto be made byothers.Such knowledgedoes not preventtacit cooperation. 46 Jr."1' of and robustness such tacit games to analyze the possibilities experimental bargains. RobertAxelrod. Arms Races. is that states may not always know when others are One are. pp. offertacit agreements. what are the parties' commitments. 22-52..Strategy pointis 1985).113 or and maynot knowwhat theirintentions cooperating defecting thatare more or state maythenpunishothersfornoncompliance defections apparent than real and thus begin a downwardspiral of retaliation.1"0 practice.They confrontnew some players may effectively That moveis sensibleonlyif an partners making initial"generous"move." endorsedbyAdelmanin "ArmsControlWithand Without strongly of (New York: Basic Books. Schelling. theyunderstand them?Often. (Washington.however. andArmsControl. ArmsControl. whether real agreement any bargainslies in determining on contingent that is theresomekindofmutualpolicyadjustment is (implicitly) as If reciprocity? so.but it does suggest imperfect Affairs (Autumn1967). 892-914: Thomas C.TheEvolution Cooperation and ArmsControl".whatpass fortacitbargainsare actuallypolicies thathave been in chosen unilaterally and independently.however is Afterall.More broadly. informal. Arthur Schlesinger. 112. exists. 219-33. think. 1984). there can be no explicitbargains.There may be an "understanding" other parties' policies but no basis. pp. is strategy to communicate themfora sucker. .and worksbyDowns and Rocke: "Tacit Bargaining 113. This is not to say thattacitbargainsare alwaysa chimera. Thomas Schellinghas consistently Robert Axelrod has used fruitful approach to superpowerarms control.C. and Thomas C.the otherside willdo so as well. dilemmais no dilemmaat all if playerscan openlycontractaround it. theprisoners' because directcommunication prohibited. Halperin. thepossibility a tacitbargain:a willingness playcooperatively and only as if. "Originsof the Cold War.pp. See the following TacitBargaining. In Axelrod's games.awaiting adjustitspolicieson a provisional argued that this is the most by others.Each partycan some conforming adjustment basis. Daedalus 89 (Fall 111." Affairs "What WentWrongwithArmsControl?"Foreign 1960). lightof the unilateralpolicies of of others." Foreign M.Informal agreements 529 accepted In Eastern Europe. to implicit agreements adjust these policies on a mutualor contingent its Each partyis simplymaximizing own values. George Downs and David Rocke have shown.112 by ratherthan aggressively playing some respond with generosity themselves. "Reciprocal Measures forArmsStabilization. Still. pp. Schellingand MortonH. be maysimply a Nash equilibrium.: Pergamon-Brassey. See Thomas C. Schelling. 2d Agreements.The whole pointof a tit-for-tat to of if.

there is regret and not merely interactions. was shocked because the Soviet-Cuban alliance challenged new America'sunique powerin theWestern Hemisphereand posed significant withthe strategic problems. Thus. of and poor chancesofsuccess. forinstance.not because it broke some silentunderstanding Soviets over respectivespheres of influence.The UnitedStateswas shockedbya challengeso close to itsown It territory.the United States could do in war. Elster makes this distinction betweenregretand surpriseand 114.There waging to Sovietcontrol EasternEurope without nothing reverse was little to be gained by providingsubstantial aid to local resistance Theirchancesforsuccesswereslim. need formore "fault the serious impediments and moreexplicit communication gainsfrom tolerant" strategies. There ought to be some distinctiverecognitionthat built up duringthe course of joint reasonable expectationsand inferences. Afterthe Cuban the Soviets managed to develop a de facto ally in the Western revolution. valuable aptacitbargainsis to examinethe reactionsand discourse proach to uncovering surrounding possible "violations.like their more explicit Breakingthe are counterparts. surprise. In self-interest.-Soviet conflict centralEurope. Departures fromregularized.S. One side mayconsideritsown restraint whilethe otherconsidersit nothing more thanprudent of an implicit bargain. Hemisphere. mayalso be difficult distinguish part tacitbargainsand unilateralacts."' in Considerthedifferences America'sreactionto expandedSovietinfluence in in two cases: Cuba in 1959-60 and Afghanistan 1979-80. the earlyCold War. efforts destabilize Soviet controlin Eastern tensionsand raised the increasedinternational Europe would have markedly in of U. mosttacitbargainsare hardto identify confidence. predictablebehaviorgive rise to cooperation producesregret. In The Cementof Society.What had been violated was America's unchallenged position as the great power in its own region.and thedangersofescalation movements. agreements very nature. surprise. of to terms thatexchangeis likely be givenvoice. Under the circumstances. based on the reciprocalexchangeof benefits. There willbe talkofbetrayal but and recriminations. relates it to two formsof order.There was a learningprocessbut no some reciprocalrestraint by tacitbargain. implicit are to be implicit agreements oftenexplicableas outcomesof more narrowly one self-interested unilateralpolicies." Tacit bargains. with By In anycase. to were significant.Moreover. Unreciprocated . wordsofregret having at extended generous uncompensated concessions.S. Any U. in respondsto In ongoing interactions whicheach side continually diplomatic to between it theother'spoliciesand initiatives. dangers More aggressive actionin EasternEurope was Americanpolicy was restrained.notbytheimpliedpromise deterred therisks by the Soviets. their whatmayappear leave littletrace.Organization 530 International and risksto tacit bargaining. thepotential and greater transparency. have been breached. Given these difficulties.

a of The Carteradministration. 260-61. DangerousRelations:The SovietUnionin World York: Oxford University Press..Soviettroopshad been used foraggressive Europe. is that they may well be ambiguous and differently was National them. Ulam. amongtheWestern widely to threat the was thisdeep sense ofviolation.S.across statesand within SecurityAdviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. See Mike Bowkerand Phil Williams. that the Sovietshad violated some general understanding United States or had somehow failed to reciprocateAmerica's restrained and policiesnear theSovietborder. vieweddetentein more They of to restrictive terms.1983).when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated Confrontation. See Garthoff. There was no claim. "The Soviet occupationof Afghanistan and the Americanresponseled to a sharpbreak to decade.1963). very challengesto itsregionalhegemony withthe however. Adam B. course. Detenteand Confrontation. 1970-1982 (New 117.Giroux." according Garthoff.1860-1898 Press.. p.outrage. Until the Afghanistan 116.-Soviet relations the overthepreceding eroded and weakenedmutualpolicyof detente "It gave the coup de grace to the alreadyseriously pointthanJanuary waysJanuary 1980was a sharperturning establishedin May 1972. 186. N. PresidentCarter's own sense of shock.has to be both forcein If and comprehensive reciprocal.and trade flows.The eventualwinner understood different by actors.119 understandings. relatedprincipally the nuclearbalance.to a lesserextent.967. European diplodetached from the invasionof Afghanistan support or macy.p. whichhad been pursuing policy increasedtrade and normalizedrelationswiththe Soviets.Angola.117 sharedinAmericaand. from wholecourseofU.but a hard-headed strategy Williams] the of devisedbyKissinger and Nixonforcopingwithan adversesituation managing emergence by . of the over had been a sharpdebate within Carteradministration the impliedterms detente. and notjust thepotential military PersianGulf. in forguerrilla factions the Horn of Africa. Mozambique."See Garthoff. to 1977-1981(New York: Farrar.thatended a decade of closertiesbetweenthesuperpowers. Politics.who clearly stated his position early in the Carter while discussing Horn of Africa. hisreview thisbook.clearlyconsideredthe invasiona For detente.The problem with implied terms.and betrayalwere It allies. of ComparethatwithAmerica'sreactionto the Sovietinvasion Afghanistan.therewas simply evidence thata tacitbargainhad been broken. 118." ZbigniewBrzezinski.he wroteto PresidentCarter the administration that "the Soviets must be made to realize that detente.after all. of 115.On thebasis ofAmerica'spronouncements no reactivepolicies.. the Sovietsare allowed to feelthattheycan use military cooperativerelationsin otherareas-then theyhave no one partof the world-and yetmaintain Powerand Principle: Memoirs the of See incentive exerciseanyrestraint."18 The Soviets. implicit underlying agreement purposesoutsideEastern first time. Garthoff.: CornellUniversity invasion.Superpower and in of assumptions 1988).Straus. NationalSecurity Adviser. The New Empire:An Interpretation AmericanExpansion.1983).it had taken all century.Y.pointsto thecontradictory self-limiting thatsupported detentein theUnitedStatesand SovietUnion: "Detente [according Bowkerand to was nota cause ofAmerica'sapparentweaknessin the 1970s. 1981. or Central America. are These different whichhave been so well documented. A 119.saw matters differently. (Ithaca. 27.Informal agreements 531 of of America'sassertion thatunique positionhad been thebeginning itsriseto Since then.there chap. to be enduring. In many Detente and and repudiateddetente.116 the directattackon the broad.1"5 global power in the late nineteenth seriously indeed. Walter LaFeber.In March 1978.pp. Detente: Reappraisal(London: Sage.

rather in involvements the of failure Sovietleadersto appreciatetheadverseconsequencesoftheir "costly "Review of Bowker ThirdWorld on detentewiththe United States." and Williams'Superpower of The 120. withone another. and informal treaties agreements Choosingbetween to statesare reluctant depend on them Because tacitbargainsare so limited. Theymaygiveriseto radically and reconcile such no at the time.Tacit agreements.1977). writtenagreementsdoes offera chance to clarify process of negotiating to detailed.Ethiopiaand Afghanistan.Any commitments cooperate need to be The agreementsthemselvesare not so simply specifiedin some detail.p. settlement. The results. Garthoff. tacitagreement among fit Theyinvolve coordination problems thisdescription.sometimes understandings: whichgo unnoticed different interpretations. in These limitations tacit agreementsare not always a drawback. moredetailed vaguenesson someissuesas partofa larger.written projects. involvecomplicatedquestionswithout to ests are less than congruent.-Soviet relations. agree on joint interpretations. way to identify whendisputesarise overnonperformance. There is.and to establishmechanisms ongoingconsultation. Unfortunately.and ifthereare no individual Some the thensome keydefectsof tacitbargainsare irrelevant.S. signalthat Theywantsome clear. viewsexceptretroactively. . But the ments. the prospectsof futurecooperation may already be destroyedby over recriminations "bad faith. For the Soviet leaders.They lurkin all contracts.lack these procedures. important whenundertaking Soviet power.120 directly who cannotcommunicate multiple participants They the politicsare different. ings. to undercut sees Soviet policies in Africaand Asia as opportunistic relations. is agreement to be reached. 311. 65 Affairs (Spring1989).S.and lack anyexplicit tion. thanstrategic. hard issues of international wherenationalintersalientsolutions.restrictive to understandings." See RaymondL. This does notruleout deliberate and some issues have to be finessed if any Cooperation is not comprehensive. so.the termsmust be crafted and of the to deliberately minimize risks misunderstanding noncompliance. Angola. notable studentof superpower There was a were the same forU.Whenthey this. Intemational Detente.If the the coversonlya fewbasic points. draft such as the for language. by Commission. however. Emergence Norms(Oxford:ClarendonPress. definiU. a himself for support detentein the United States and lead to itscollapse.ifthe partiesclearlyunderstand agreement or incentives betray to in provisions thesameway. detente representedan expected relationsand exerciseSovietpowerin a moreactivewayin to opportunity neutralizesuperpower was the in did however." Garthoff. 121. on the other hand.Organization 532 International to important raise here because they illustratea common defect in tacit disastrously theyare oftenvague and ambiguous. distort terms. cooperationis to be achieved. unfortunately. differing By then. result theThirdWorld.121 If self-sustaining. Edna Ullmann-Margalit.-Soviet StandingConsultative understandlack thisdetail." not unique to tacit agreeare The dangersof misunderstanding certainly even the mostformaland detailed.

to a greater lesserextent. onlyto declare thatit shouldnotbe considereda treaty whichare are At with commitments. with its prominentcommitments pages It identicalto a treaty. declared at the time that this documentwas not statesdisagreedwith "There does not appear to be anyevidencethatthe othersignatory a treaty. breakingagreements rather. or. Several withthe United Nations.such as stabilizationagreements but to Fund (IMF). of dependability the agreement. includessixty virtually is humanrights." .as a treaty said thatit was not eligibleforregistration democraticstates. armscontrol. are agreements typically Informal agreeof These escape hatches are the common denominators informal ments.122theotherextreme oral bargains.theyadd to the costs of By state's commitments. quite varied.formally states. was concludedin 1975 and signedbythirty-five contained"in the to "determination act in accordancewiththeprovisions thestatesdeclaredtheir plainly of The text commitments a treaty.These requirements flowsamonginterdependent information improve each withits agreement.Each is moreor less suitedto resolving problems. The treatycommitments by and diplomaticsignificance a streamof instance. for more inclusivebargains.Informal agreements 533 an agreementhas been reached and includes specificterms. Cooperationin Europe. procedures. putting values reputation.led by the United States. state'sfullest mostauthoritative but so is the on The effects reputationare thus constrained.thesewerenotto be thebinding would be.it willprefer spell they choices and the commitments entailand willwantto out these respective actors.ranging as agreements.fromthe most elaborate writtendocumentsto the sketchiestoral on agreements. that define NATO.On theotherhand.on their adherence to these informal to bargains. a accordingto Schachter. in principle. imprimatur.giventhatno international agreements.are themselves Informal to declarations elaborateletters to simpleoral commitments jointsummit from Monetary withthe International of intent. binding and on known theFinal Act oftheConference Security as 122.They are oftenunwilling grantthemthe statusof legallybinding But whatdoes thatmean in practice.The resultis a curiouscontradiction: nonbinding thisunderstanding. do and the agreements typically not requireelaborateratification and the or Theylack. otherwise of detailedprovisions. bargaining kindsof international specific mean thatactorsmustchoose betweenthemforspecific These differences each other as elementsof However.On the one hand.theydo so if a signatory moreelusiveon thesecounts. I have noted. agreementscan bind their signatorieslike domestic contractscan? The signalto other presentedhere is thattreatiessend a conventional argument of and the and to thirdparties concerning gravity irreversibilitya signatories at reputation stake.The Helsinki Final Act. Some of the mostelaborate are quite similar treaties with statusof the promisesis less clear-cut.When a state's to on choice of policies is contingent the choices of others.are giventheirmilitary allianceissuessuchas thataddresscontemporary declarations summit informal and Sovietpolicyinitiatives.theymay also complement agreements. or can be met by eithera formaltreaty an informal and owngenericstrengths weaknesses. States equivocate. text. The diplomatic twocrucialexceptions. weaponsmodernization. The HelsinkiFinal Act.

vol. at directives some point. possible. equivocalpromise. see Schachter.and quotes like this He apocryphal.Theyare unreliablein severaldistinct the authorizedand whether have been officially they difficult tell whether to to as a whole is committed them. but to opportunity correctthembefore an interstate of mostimportant all. an interesting in internationallaw. oral agreementsmust be Sinceremistakes. Informal agreements committhemas fundamental. The text of the Helsinki Final Act can be found in Intemational Materials.It juxtaposeselaborate"commitments" the legallybindingstatusof from is treaty would be. TheSearchforSam Goldwyn (New York: Norton. . of agreement. See "International 13 1981.Nobody ever lost an argumentin the retelling. 35917 ff.Goldwyn: Biography theMan BehindtheMyth 150-51. is intowriting requiredbytheU.123 translated intowritten process withno may and misunderstandings creep in duringthistranslation dispute emerges. (New York: WilliamMorrow. State Department's of 123. The murky problemwithoral bargains.124 werewritten avoids mostof these problems.It intowriting agreements Putting informal produces evidenceof an intendedbargain."p.First. evidenceofrecognized are they less convincing ments. This translation oral agreements Regulations. 181. priceofmaintaining are also less public than treaties. These limitations as are witha claimthatthey notto be registered. suitedfor of The speed and simplicity oral bargainsmake themparticularly resolution.clearly. July are comments about oral agreements 124. 1293 ff.pp. omissions.Third. "The TwilightExistence of NonbindingInternational Legal Agreements. The point. it is easier to disclaimoral bargainsor to recastthemon and oral favorableterms. depthof nationalcommitment policyflexibility. 14. a bargain.and the quickestto conclude. theyusuallylack the government that supportcompliance. of A Marx.S.pp. 8-10. states are clandestinedeals and crisis can Oral agreements encompass to reluctant depend on themmoregenerally. self-binding because statesdo not acknowledge Theyare statepractices.the mostmalleable.informal as thusless significant precedents. 1975."See Carol Easton. were notworththe paper they had in mindwhenhe said thatverbalcontracts on.pp. 296. as treaty recognition. is in obligations anydetail. There is a nice ironyhere.whetherhe said themor not.they cannot set out complicated only a few major points it ways.Organization 534 International the mostsecret.in two ways. on agreements trade For example.First. a formal diplomatic or extradition no proofofimplicit are are more easily agreements mean that informal would be.to ensure and public commitment visibility in implementation complex bureaucraticstates. and 46 FederalRegister. and Arthur 1976)."22 Code of Agreement the regulations implementing Case Act.What it stilllacks is the generally That is the irreducible associatedwithtreaties.Last.How can thirdpartiesever ascertainwho underscorea fundamental gaveone answerto thatquestion:"Two words:im himself whatto whom?Goldwyn really promised 1976). Goldwyn'sdisparaging mangledthe Englishlanguage. to exemptthe provisions and status analysis theHelsinkiagreement itsambiguous of For treaty commitments. Perhapsthisis whatSam Goldwyn bargainshave manyof the same properties.pp. Like their an theyare a kindof moraland legal oxymoron: moreelaboratecounterparts. regularly themselves probably originsof thisquotation to were oftenattributed him.But for obvious reasons.Second. part FederalRegulations.

The second reason is that ever sincetheUnitedStatesenteredWorldWar I. the in was whenWoodrow 126. informalagreementsare more easily kept secret.to shiftthose alliances. sharply Foreign ministries longer hold the same powers to commit states to no and alliances. securelaunching pad formilitary however. such as those reachedbythe United States managedbyinformal agreements. Between Germanyand the Union of Soviet Socialist 127. war raisedbytheU.'" Quoted byArthur Walworth America's of World WarI (New York: Norton. can hide their they use secrettreaties They can simply bargainswithoutmakingtheminformal.127 Sovietsaccurately a They offer war are vital allies to the protagonists. can be keptsecret. witha handfulof politicalleaders. See "Treaty of Non-Aggression Republics. Bismarck Metternich barinstruments strikeinternational to democraticleaders relyon informal restraints. Second. Clemenceau and Lloyd George "said of agreement emphatically thattheycould not agree neverto make a privateor secretdiplomatic knew and everyone were the foundation European diplomacy. to hide powers of a frompublic view. if need be. This is clearly delicaterelationship. of whichworkedclosely The decline of centralizedforeign policyinstitutions.p.For need to registerthem with international in highlysensitivebargains.They permit cooperationto be circumscribed. That is precisely objection the institutional gainsin spiteofdomestic agreements. Making IntemationalAgreements. The discretionary such criticalcommitments in or haveno equivalent modern Western states. There is no themor to enact themintodomesticlaw. Congressregarding powersand executive suchinstitutional Whenleaders are freedfrom restraints.125 reasonwhythey must Treaties. The and Laos during VietnamWar.the borderingstates could be brought theirrole becomes too open and prominent. thatto abandon secretnegotiations but confidential talkson delicate matters.Instead. is best directly thefighting protagonists into as usuallysecretones. 1939. ithas opposed secretagreements as a matterof basic principleand has enshrinedits position in the peace settlements bothworldwars.There is no inherent of instrument balance-ofwerea central be made public. of p. 125. a It themselves.thatis a crucialattribute.as Stalin and Hitler did in August 1939 when theycarved up informed Germansthat"ratificathe The EasternEurope.126 powerdiplomacy the eighteenth powerfulreasons why secret treaties are rare today. onlyto require thattherewas no intention prohibit to that treatiesresulting fromsuch conversations should become 'part of the public law of the at in Moment: 1918-AmericanDiplomacy theEnd world. and thereis no requirement ratify to for organizations publication." documentno.Informal agreements 535 for restricted a particularissue. Signed by Ribbentropand Molotov.secrettreaties in and nineteenth But thereare centuries.Indeed. 228 in United . 68. To this[Colonel] House replied..1977). to divide conquered territory. States on the bordersof a guerrilla If and operationsand a securesiteforcommunications resupply.S. and protocols. They have fewerramifications collateral to issues or third parties.August 23. such as the use of noncombatants'territory guerrilla wars. limitsthe uses of secret treaties.too. 56. The firstand most of is stateswithprinciples public accountfundamental the riseof democratic Secrettreatiesare difficult to and some powersof legislative oversight. ability reconcilewiththese democraticprocedures. The importance secrettreaties European diplomacy underscored of Wilson tried to abolish the practice afterWorld War I. See Johnson. of anykind.Such understandings would be to invitechaos..

They scornedthe Baltic nationalists factthatthe Allies had copies of the the deal) and ignoredthe inconvenient remainsensitive The because Germandocuments. 7 of The Kingdom. the The Poland and the Baltic into spheresof influence. secretpacts have rarely Aside from reflects war experience the interstate projectssince WorldWar I. ." Germany themap attachedto theBoundaryand Friendship (cf. Office.seriesD. shall be amended in item 1 to the effect of territory the Lithuanianstatesfallsto the sphereof influence the USSR.131 old Soviet-Naziprotocols of expansion.see GerhardL. are The 131. been used forimportant theseprotocols. European edition. 1940.23-24 June1989. course. 166.signedAugust 23. 1939. Signed by Ribbentropand Molotov. EstherB. 1956). 1918-1945 (London: Her Majesty'sStationery "The Secret which was signed in Moscow by Ribbentropand Molotov." 129..pp." Wall Street Joumal. December 1989. ForeignOffice. Policy. 9-September3. 1 and 5. 245-46. 1939. That partly While the war America's rise to global prominence. was merely formality" would be completedimmediately the was The Presidium the SupremeSoviet.a senior actually publishedtheirtextsas partof theirrising dividedEasternEurope. including first the (who knewabout these secretprotocols.pp.129 following Latvia. Weinberg. The relevant maps and microfilms held in theFederal Republic'sForeignMinistry. 439-40. 1939.pp. August30. Fein. Fein.in the originaland in translation. when Baltic nationalismbecame a serious of of politicalchallenge. See "Secret AdditionalProtocol.then.128 actual Treatyof Non-Aggression of made public.pp. p. vol. The document.the Baltic stateshad a and Lithuaniapartof the Sovietsphere. of 130. [from] Ambassadorin theSovietUnion to the [German] the 128. series D. declaring Nazis and Sovietsadded twomore secretprotocols.. See "Secret AdditionalProtocol. been forcibly incorporatedinto the Soviet Union. stated the following: that the AdditionalProtocol. Last Days ofPeace.August23. "Soviets Confirm Nazi Pacts Dividing 19 Europe. no.whythe agreement longtriedto keep it thatway.They directly theyunderminethe legitimacy Soviet territorial state. The September 1939-March 18. Sovietofficial thattheSovietsand Nazis had secretly acknowledged finally boundariesof the Soviet had no bearingon the current but he insistedthatthe secretagreement Union. August Office. See "Telegram."Bonn Has DocumentsSovietsDon't Want VeryMuch to Find. For the next fifty the Sovietsrefusedto acknowledge fouryears of glasnost. Within year.Estonia. 25 of "Soviet CongressCondemns'39 Pact That Led to Annexation Baltics. The volumeprovidesofficial capturedarchives the and GermanForeignMinistry the Reich Chancellery.pp. of Starting World TheForeign Policy Hitler's of Germany: 1980). 246-47.Organization 536 International and by a tion .SignedbySchulenburg. WarYears. Foreign Policy.theprovince Lublinand partsof the province Warsawfallto the sphereof influence of Treatysignedtoday)." document 229 in ibid. August1989. 1 and 15. reflects itselfand partly had publishedthe czaristgovernment's Leon Trotsky was stillbeing fought. 602-10. vol." document 159 in UnitedKingdom. while.The nationalists. no.September28. The Sovietslong have all been published.Whatwas keptsecretwas the attachedprotocolthatpartitioned month. captureddocuments were forgeries.on the other of of of hand. 1918-1945 (London: Her Majesty'sStationery Documents German on Foreign of of from translations documents pp. ForeignMinistry. 8 ofDocuments German Office. could notfind theircopies and thattheWest Germanmicrofilms claimedthatthey They held to this formulaicanswer through1989.pp. of Foreign USSR and theGovernment theGermanReich. There is impugnthe sources of Soviet dominanceof a multinational and was made secretly whythe Soviets ample reason. 1 and 10. WarII (Chicago: University ChicagoPress. See PeterGumbel..emphasizedthe illegitimacy the protocolsand of protest Sovietrule. 1939. 1939..Most Urgent. 1954).In August1989. on 4. Between the Government the no."TheNew YorkTimes." TheNew YorkTimes. document 447 in ibid. For an analysisof the protocol.130 years. and EstherB.

1976). an incentive do so. They underscorethe fact tional cooperationand some recurrent and that its very limits may be that cooperation is often circumscribed the Their aim is oftento restrict scope and fundamental the participants. including Americantermsin the program. Books." He would simply of understandings anykind[so that]diplomacy international eliminate "private and in thepublicview. House. At theVersaillespeace conference. When 133. international and. to of and to avoid anygeneralization theirimplications. was shrewdand effective.". it did virtually states. Trotsky's countries. 4. pp. not about narrow He aggrandizement.he began with a stated his Fourteen Points to guide to commitment "open covenants . Wilson's war aims were stated to a joint session of Congresson 8 January Wilsonannouncedthathe to European leaders laterchallengedthiscommitment open covenants. 182-83. 233. release of the secretdocuments 132. dissociatedthe United States or self-interest territorial and from Allies' earliersecretcommitments soughtto abolishthemforever the whereWilson once thewar had been won.An Introduction theHistory Treaties Intemational Press. means ad hoc. argued that this was a war about big issues and grand ideals. in the agreements They provideda means for registering could be to agreements case of the UN. vol. the London treaty)and revealed that Russia had been promisedcontrolof Constantinople. of Justice.agreements 537 Informal Theyshowedhow Italyhad been enticedintothewar (through secrettreaties. 1 of The vol. theyhad told himand he had keptthe secret. Politics(Baltimore. Point One. 1966).Md. attackson secretdiplomacy.132 whichtheir of He WoodrowWilsonhad alwayswantedsuch a statement intent.despitehis principled Politics. 42 and 215. ed. Only registered the Court including International accordedlegal statusbeforeanyUN affiliate. .. the negotiations.133 shallproceed alwaysfrankly These Wilsonian ideals were embodied in Article 18 of the League of NationsCovenantand laterinArticle102 oftheUnitedNations(UN) Charter. and JamesJoll.Informal live agreements on as theirclosestmodernsubstitutes. 1928).The Allies were embarrassedby the publicationof these for and were forcedto proclaimthe largerprinciples agreements self-seeking and citizens werefighting dying. and to of See Mario Toscano. openly arrivedat. Informal There was a strong.. by Charles Seymour See Edward M.p. This mixture legalismand idealismcould neverabolish private of secrettreatiesamongdemocratic but eliminate understandings. The Intimate (London: ErnestBenn. durationof agreements bargainsare the The ends are oftenparticularistic." the would nevercompromise "essentially Papers of Colonel House. 2d ed.pp.: JohnsHopkins University and Intemational History Treaties of UK: Penguin EuropeSince 1870. by Conclusion:international cooperation informal agreement of illuminate possibilities internathe agreements The varieduses of informal limitations. allies had not told himof theirearlierbargainsor Eitherhis wartime was politically embarrassed. (Harmondsworth. 1918. Wilsonhimself mainly the Anglo-Saxon in sustainedreactionagainstsecretdiplomacy.

JudgeRichardBaxter flexible. are cooperation.or more formalobligations.or to be avoid legislative They may well be conceivedwith no view and no aspirations renegotiated. and to itsinstitutional " Variety. 134 paper. The diplomaticconsequences and reputationaleffectsare minimizedby using may also be ratherthan treaties. pursue national goals by international as and Theyconstitute." Their of a once remarked. resolvea crisis. theyare commonplace. about the longerterm. processofcooperationor a moredurableone. Baxter. to testifies Theirform variety.Organization 538 International (and no from outset. Interstate These constraints constituencies.otheractors. agreement with and definitively. possibility) extending realistic of not the beginning a They are simply periods.thereis no intention the delimited longertime of themto widerissues. escape the attention otherstates. moreinclusive shape the formthat agreementscan take. "vast substructure inter-governmental cooperation to to presencetestifies the perennialefforts achieve international silently itslimits. no timeforelaboratedocuments. 549. quickly to be struck they can Because informal agreements accommodatethese restrictions. .and use them commontools forinternational agreement.Theyare simply but ready to be abandoned or reordered as circumstanceschange.Informalagreements agreements informal mayhave To the chosenbecause of timepressures.They are to frequently.States use them. Law in 'Her Infinite "International 134.More oftenthannot. valuable now transitory arrangements.' p. to domestic designedto be hiddenfrom bargainsare frequently of to ratification.

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