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Who is in love with multilateralism? Treaty commitment in the post-Cold War era


  • Manfred Elsig


  • Karolina Milewicz
  • Nikolas Stürchler


Since the end of the Cold War, multilateral treaties have again become a central vehicle for international cooperation. In this article, we study states’ commitment to 76 multilateral treaties concluded between 1990 and 2005. The article offers a systematic account of present-day multilateral treaty-making efforts and asks what explains variation in states’ participation as witnessed in the act of treaty ratification. We test existing explanations and provide a novel argument that accounts for the strong participation of new European democracies in multilateral treaties. We find that regime type and being part of the European Union (EU) strongly affect treaty ratification. New EU democracies, in particular, are much more likely to ratify multilateral treaties than are other new democracies.

Suggested Citation

  • Manfred Elsig & Karolina Milewicz & Nikolas Stürchler, 2011. "Who is in love with multilateralism? Treaty commitment in the post-Cold War era," European Union Politics, , vol. 12(4), pages 529-550, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:eeupol:v:12:y:2011:i:4:p:529-550

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