Chapter

The North Pacific Fur Seal Treaty and the Theory of International Cooperation

Scott Barrett

in Environment and Statecraft

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780199286096
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602832 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199286094.003.0002
 The North Pacific Fur Seal Treaty and the Theory of International Cooperation

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This chapter tells the story of how the northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) was nearly hunted to extinction, and how the North Pacific Fur Seal Treaty of 1911 not only reversed this situation, but probably sustained the efficient harvest of this resource. The case study illustrates that treaties can change behavior, but only by strategically manipulating the incentives that countries face in exploiting environmental resources. The text of the treaty is included in an appendix.

Keywords: North Pacific Fur Seal Treaty; open access resource; bilateral cooperation; multilateral cooperation

Chapter.  13413 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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