June 2014 Vol. 112 No. 8 THE REVIEW
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War Is Governance: Explaining the Logic of the Laws of War from a Principal-Agent Perspective

Eyal Benvenisti & Amichai Cohen

What is the purpose of the international law on armed conflict, and why would opponents bent on destroying each other's capabilities commit to and obey rules designed to limit their choice of targets, weapons, and tactics? Traditionally, answers to this question have been offered on the one hand by moralists who regard the law as being inspired by morality and on the other by realists who explain this branch of law on the basis of reciprocity. Neither side's answers withstand close scrutiny. In this Article, we develop an alternative explanation that is based on the principal-agent model of domestic governance. We pry open the black box of "the state" and examine the complex interaction between the civilian and military apparatuses seething beneath the veil of sovereignty. Our point of departure is that military conflicts raise significant intrastate conflicts of interest that result from the delegation of authority to engage in combat: between civil society and elected officials, between elected officials and military commanders, and within the military chain of command. We submit that the most effective way to reduce domestic agency costs prevalent in war is by relying on external resources to monitor and discipline the agents. Even though it may be costly, and reciprocity is not assured, principals who worry that agency slack may harm them or their nation's interests are likely to prefer that international norms regulate warfare. The Article expounds the theory and uses it to explain the evolution of the law and its specific doctrines, and it outlines the normative implications of this new understanding of the purpose of the law. Ultimately, our analysis suggests that as a practical matter, international law enhances the ability of states to amass huge armies because it lowers the costs of controlling them. Therefore, although at times compliance with the law may prove costly in the short run, in the long run states with massive armies are its greatest beneficiaries.    

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Personalizing Default Rules and Disclosure with Big Data

Ariel Porat & Lior Jacob Strahilevitz
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NOTES

Fumbling the First Amendment: The Right of Publicity Goes 2–0 Against Freedom of Expression

Thomas E. Kadri

Two circuits in one summer found in favor of college athletes in right-of-publicity suits filed against the makers of the NCAA Football videogame. Both panels split 2-1; both applied the transformative use test; both dissenters predicted chilling consequences. By insisting that the likeness of each player be "transformed," the Third and Ninth Circuits employed a test that imperils the use of realistic depictions of public figures in expressive works. This standard...

Tariffication of the Coastwise Trade Laws

Keith E. Diggs

The coastwise trade laws prohibit foreign vessels and mariners from transporting goods or passengers between American ports. These anticompetitive laws punish American producers and consumers yet barely sustain a dwindling merchant marine. Every attempt to repeal the laws encounters insurmountable political resistance. Reformers of the coastwise trade laws, then, should instead try to convert the prohibition on foreign involvement into a tariff.    


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War Is Governance: Explaining the Logic of the Laws of War from a Principal-Agent Perspective

What is the purpose of the international law on armed conflict, and why would opponents bent on destroying...
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