In the lead-up to the 2003 war in Iraq, the United Nations weapons inspectors roamed the country in search of reliable evidence of whether Iraq was complying or not with international law. In debates over whether to extend or to retract the use of the death penalty, lawmakers and enforcement officers take contrasting positions on whether increased penalties result in greater compliance with law. In many countries, city governments are installing street-level cameras according to the belief that a watchful government eye will compel compliance with criminal laws. In these and other contexts, views on compliance, sometimes asserted rather than proven, can have a profound effect on international and domestic affairs.

Do individuals, organizations, and governments conform their behavior to legal rules? If so, how and ...

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