In this paper, we identify authority as an important dimension of variance among international institutions. Essentially, the greater the authority of international institutions, the more sovereignty states have yielded to them. Highly authoritative institutions can make decisions that legally bind domestic governments on specified issues even without those governments’ consent. Over the past 20 years, scholars have viewed the evolution of international institutions largely through the lens of state motives. We argue that it is time to think more systematically about the role of the structure of the international system. Two factors that impact international structure—previously existing institutions and the presence of systemic shocks—can complement theories of actor motives to better account for the level of sovereignty yielded to authoritative international institutions. We illustrate the potential importance of including structural variables by applying the argument to sets of cases in currency cooperation and human rights. We find that structural factors increase the probability of states yielding sovereignty to international institutions, though structural factors are only a permissive cause of institution formation.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Cooper, Hawkins, Jacoby, & Nielson: Yielding Sovereignty to International Institutions: Bringing System Structure Back In
Scott Cooper, Darren Hawkins, Wade Jacoby, & Daniel Nielson (all of Brigham Young Univ. - Political Science) have published Yielding Sovereignty to International Institutions: Bringing System Structure Back In (International Studies Review, Vol. 10, no. 3, p. 501, September 2008). Here's the abstract: