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Leviathan on a LeashA Theory of State Responsibility$
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Sean Fleming

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691206462

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691206462.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

The Agential and Functional Theories of State Responsibility

The Agential and Functional Theories of State Responsibility

(p.16) 1 The Agential and Functional Theories of State Responsibility
(p.iii) Leviathan on a Leash

Sean Fleming

Princeton University Press

This chapter distinguishes, compares, and evaluates the two dominant theories of state responsibility. According to the agential theory, states can be held responsible because they are moral agents like human beings. According to the functional theory, states are principals rather than agents. The primary distinction between the two theories of state responsibility is that they rely on different understandings of how corporate entities can act. The chapter then uses the Three Fundamental Questions to bring the agential and functional theories into dialogue and to put them to the test. It argues that neither provides an adequate set of answers. While the 'agent' and 'principal' models of state responsibility are useful in some respects, each has important gaps and blind spots.

Keywords:   state responsibility, agential theory, states, functional theory, corporate entities

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