Why comply? The domestic constituency mechanism

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-398
Number of pages36
JournalInternational Organization
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Why comply? The domestic constituency mechanism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this