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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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The Future of State Responsibility

(p.175) Conclusion
Leviathan on a Leash

Sean Fleming

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter summarizes the implications of the Hobbesian theory of state responsibility and then looks to the future. There are three ongoing trends that are likely to alter both the nature and the scope of state responsibility: the development of international criminal law, the proliferation of treaties, and the replacement of human representatives with machines and algorithms. Although the practice of holding individuals responsible for acts of state might seem to render state responsibility redundant, the rise of international criminal law will not lead to the decline of state responsibility. The two forms of international responsibility are complementary rather than competitive. If anything, the domain of state responsibility will continue to expand in the coming decades because of the proliferation of treaties. New technologies pose the greatest challenge to current understandings of state responsibility. Thomas Hobbes' theory of the state, which is mechanistic to begin with, is well suited to the emerging world of mechanized states.

Keywords:   Hobbesian theory, state responsibility, international criminal law, treaties, international responsibility, Thomas Hobbes, mechanized states

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