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Why Comply? The Domestic Constituency Mechanism


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  • Dai, Xinyuan
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    Why do countries comply with international agreements? While scholars have done rigorous work to address compliance and enforcement in an international game, less analytical attention has been paid to domestic mechanisms of compliance. However, because international agreements have domestic distributional consequences, there exist domestic sources of enforcement. In this article, I develop an analytical framework of domestic accountability, where I identify specific channels of influence through which domestic constituencies can influence national compliance. Using a game theoretic model, I show that a government s compliance decision reflects the electoral leverage and the informational status of domestic constituencies. This framework further provides a theoretical rationale for why and how international institutions may influence states compliance through domestic mechanisms. The European acid rain regime offers an empirical illustration of the domestic constituency argument.I have benefited from the generous help of many colleagues and friends in the course of this research. I would particularly like to thank the editor-in-chief of IO, anonymous reviewers of this article, as well as William Bernhard, Paul Diehl, Daniel Drezner, James Fearon, Robert Keohane, Charles Lipson, Ronald Mitchell, Robert Pahre, Duncan Snidal, Detlef Sprinz, Milan Svolik, and Pieter van Houten. Nazl Avdan provided valuable research assistance. MacArthur Foundation, the U.S. Institute of Peace, Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, and the Research Board at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign sponsored various phases of this research.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal International Organization.

    Volume (Year): 59 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 02 (April)
    Pages: 363-398

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    Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:59:y:2005:i:02:p:363-398_05

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    Cited by:
    1. Christopher Marcoux & Johannes Urpelainen, 2013. "Non-compliance by design: Moribund hard law in international institutions," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 163-191, June.
    2. Citi, Manuele & Rhodes, Martin, 2007. "New Modes of Governance in the EU: Common Objectives versus National Preferences," European Governance Papers (EUROGOV) 1, CONNEX and EUROGOV networks.
    3. Oran Young, 2013. "Sugaring off: enduring insights from long-term research on environmental governance," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 87-105, March.
    4. Johannes Urpelainen, 2011. "Early birds: Special interests and the strategic logic of international cooperation," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 113-140, July.
    5. Songying Fang & Erica Owen, 2011. "International institutions and credible commitment of non-democracies," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 141-162, July.
    6. Christopher Pallas & Johannes Urpelainen, 2012. "NGO monitoring and the legitimacy of international cooperation: A strategic analysis," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 1-32, March.


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