The Convention for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna: Examining State Behavior under Binding and Nonbinding Accords
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In the relatively young realm of international environmental politics, there is a great deal to learn about the most effective and efficient ways in which to mitigate the world's increasing number of environmental problems. Treaties have proven to be a popular mechanism for addressing many of these issues, yet though the number of international environmental treaties has grown significantly in recent years, relatively little work is being done to evaluate whether or not these supposed solutions are in fact effective. In many ways, this analysis is as important as the establishment of treaties themselves, because without it, it is difficult to know if progress has been made. Or, if progress is obvious, it is difficult to know what has caused it. Furthermore, it is important to know not only which agreements are effective, but why. Knowing which elements of an agreement positively influence actors' behavior, and under which circumstances and conditions, not only allows us to adjust techniques to better improve the situation at hand, it allows for other environmental problems to be addressed more effectively. In light of this, this paper will assess the effectiveness of a specific treaty, The Convention for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT), and how the factors influencing behavior in tuna regulation can contribute to theoretical knowledge of international treaty effectiveness. Specifically, in exploring whether the CCSBT influenced member behavior, I will examine the effectiveness of nonbinding agreements, assessing whether an accord needs to be legally binding in order to effectively influence actors' behavior.