The conditional nature of democratic compliance

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Abstract

Do democratic institutions enhance a country's compliance with international commitments? The author develops a game-theoretic model that highlights the conditional nature of democratic institutions' effect on compliance. Rather than assuming that the electorate in a democracy benefits from compliance uniformly, the author considers domestic distributional consequences of compliance. The model thus incorporates the preferences of competing domestic constituents as well as their politically relevant attributes such as electoral leverage and informational advantage. The model shows that, although electoral institutions intensify politicians' accountability to domestic constituents, the direction of this electoral effect on compliance is determined by the political attributes of competing interests. The author illustrates this theory with examples of international economic and environmental policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)690-713
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
Volume50
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006

Keywords

  • Compliance
  • Democratic institutions
  • International commitments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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