IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Multilateralism, Bilateralism, and Exclusion in the Nuclear Proliferation Regime


  • Verdier, Daniel


I use the nuclear proliferation regime to show that dyadic diplomacy is not necessarily incompatible with the building of a multilateral regime; bilateralism is not the opposite of multilateralism, but an efficient component thereof. Although this point will not be new to most students of institutions, no general rationale has so far been offered on the complementarity of bilateral and multilateral diplomacy. Starting from a characterization of proliferation as the result of a large number of prisoner's dilemmas played out between states engaged in local dyadic rivalries, I demonstrate that it is possible for the superpowers to design an optimal mix of threats and bribes in which states with low compliance costs join the regime on the terms of the multilateral treaty alone; states with intermediate compliance costs need additional customized incentives, delivered through bilateral agreements; and states with high compliance costs are not only left out of the regime but also punished for nonparticipation. I draw a few comparative statics that I systematically test on Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) membership data. I discuss the applicability of the model to the currency, trade, and aid regimes.

Suggested Citation

  • Verdier, Daniel, 2008. "Multilateralism, Bilateralism, and Exclusion in the Nuclear Proliferation Regime," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(03), pages 439-476, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:62:y:2008:i:03:p:439-476_08

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Baig, Taimur & Goldfajn, Ilan, 2002. "Monetary Policy in the Aftermath of Currency Crises: The Case of Asia," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 92-112, February.
    2. Aghion, Philippe & Bacchetta, Philippe & Banerjee, Abhijit, 2004. "A corporate balance-sheet approach to currency crises," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 6-30, November.
    3. S. Brock Blomberg & Jeffry Frieden & Ernesto Stein, 2005. "Sustaining fixed rates: The political economy of currency pegs in Latin America," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 8, pages 203-225, November.
    4. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. " The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
    5. Galindo, Arturo & Panizza, Ugo & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 2003. "Debt composition and balance sheet effects of currency depreciation: a summary of the micro evidence," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 330-339, December.
    6. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    7. David M. Woodruff, 2005. "Boom, Gloom, Doom: Balance Sheets, Monetary Fragmentation, and the Politics of Financial Crisis in Argentina and Russia," Politics & Society, , vol. 33(1), pages 3-45, March.
    8. Forbes, Kristin J., 2002. "Cheap labor meets costly capital: the impact of devaluations on commodity firms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 335-365, December.
    9. Frieden, Jeffry A., 2002. "Real Sources of European Currency Policy: Sectoral Interests and European Monetary Integration," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(04), pages 831-860, September.
    10. Hoyt Bleakley & Kevin Cowan, 2008. "Corporate Dollar Debt and Depreciations: Much Ado About Nothing?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 612-626, November.
    11. Fiess, Norbert & Shankar, Rashmi, 2005. "Regime-switching in exchange rate policy and balance sheet effects," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3653, The World Bank.
    12. Echeverry, Juan Carlos & Fergusson, Leopoldo & Steiner, Roberto & Aguilar, Camila, 2003. "'Dollar' debt in Colombian firms: are sinners punished during devaluations?," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 417-449, December.
    13. Roberto Chang & Andres Velasco, 2001. "A Model of Financial Crises in Emerging Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 489-517.
    14. Pratap, Sangeeta & Lobato, Ignacio & Somuano, Alejandro, 2003. "Debt composition and balance sheet effects of exchange rate volatility in Mexico: a firm level analysis," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 450-471, December.
    15. repec:idb:brikps:77398 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Prema-chandra Athukorala & Peter G. Warr, 2002. "Vulnerability to a Currency Crisis: Lessons from the Asian Experience," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(1), pages 33-57, January.
    17. Ernesto H. Stein & Jeffry Frieden & Piero Ghezzi, 2000. "Politics and Exchange Rates: A Cross-Country Approach to Latin America," Research Department Publications 3119, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    18. Thomas D. Willett, 2007. "Why the Middle is Unstable: The Political Economy of Exchange Rate Regimes and Currency Crises," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(5), pages 709-732, May.
    19. Steven Radelet & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1998. "The East Asian Financial Crisis: Diagnosis, Remedies, Prospects," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 1-90.
    20. repec:cto:journl:v:20:y:2000:i:2:p:159-178 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Frieden, Jeffry A., 1991. "Invested interests: the politics of national economic policies in a world of global finance," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(04), pages 425-451, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Neda A. Zawahri & Ariel Dinar & Getachew Nigatu, 2016. "Governing international freshwater resources: an analysis of treaty design," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 307-331, April.
    2. Barbara Koremenos, 2013. "What’s left out and why? Informal provisions in formal international law," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 137-162, June.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:62:y:2008:i:03:p:439-476_08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.