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The Political Economy of Crises and the International Law of Necessity after the Great Recession »

Alberto Alvarez-Jimenez
This chapter examines the function of non-precluded measures clauses and the customary international law concept of necessity in light of the Great Recession. In particular, it questions whether and how the existence of a crisis, and the political implications attendant on it, should affect interpretation of state obligations. Using political science literature, it addresses the progressive steps that one finds in most economic crises and the state's likely responses to each of them. It then assesses the likelihood that these steps will open a state to allegations that it has violated its international obligations, or has exacerbated the damage, or that it has contributed to the problem at hand. The requirement found in customary international law that states not contribute to the problem is a particularly insurmountable obstacle given a literal assessment of the state contribution requirement, which should be given a more nuanced interpretation.