FORTHCOMING & PUBLISHED RESEARCH:

International Systems and Domestic Politics: Linking Complex Interactions with Empirical Models in International Relations

Co-Authored with Stephen Chaudoin and Xun Pang

International Organization (forthcoming 2015).

Abstract:

Following older debates in international relations literature which concerned the relative importance of domestic versus systemic factors, newer debates have emphasized interdependence among states and the complex interactions between systemic and domestic factors. As globalization and democratization advance, theories and empirical models of international politics have become more complicated. We make two contributions. First, we present a systematic theoretical categorization of relationships between domestic and systemic variables. We use this categorization so scholars match their theory to the appropriate empirical model and assess the degree to which systemic factors affects their arguments. Second, we present two advances at the frontier of these empirical models. In one, we combine hierarchical models of moderating relationships with spatial models of interdependence among units within a system. In the other, we provide a model for analyzing spatial interdependence that varies over time. This enables us to examine how the level of interdependence among units has evolved over time. We illustrate our categorization and new models by revisiting the recent IPE debate over the relationship between trade policy and regime type in developing countries.

Appendix available here.

Research Frontiers in Comparative and International Environmental Politics: An Introduction

Co-Authored with Xun Cao, Aseem Prakash and Hugh Ward

Comparative Political Studies (forthcoming).

Also available here.

Abstract:

Given the recognition of the seriousness of climate change and other forms of environmental challenges, a growing number of political scientists are working in the environmental area. We have a substantial body of research examining local, regional, and global environmental issues. It is our sense that time is ripe for the field of international and comparative environmental politics to reflect on existing work, integrate it, and clearly articulate directions for future research. This special issue seeks to encourage scholars to systemically examine the roles of domestic and international factors, either alone or in interaction, to develop more nuanced models of environmental politics across space and time. We hope that the papers here will help to define the research frontier for the environmental politics field. Collectively, they exemplify recent efforts in comparative and international environmental politics that are, first, explanatory in orientation; second, cross levels of analysis in a way that transcends artificial subdisciplinary distinctions; and finally, are based on application of a variety of research methods and modeling techniques standard among the wider political science community.

Introduction: The Global Economy, FDI, and the Regime for Investment

World Politics. Volume 66, Number 1: 1-11.

Also available here.

First paragraph:

The world economy has maintained or enhanced its integration in the past decade even in the face of the global financial crisis. A large part of this globalization has been driven by capital flows. This symposium focuses on one element of these capital flows, foreign direct investment (FDI), and on the regime in place to safeguard and promote such investments around the globe. The articles by Allee and Peinhardt and Simmons focus on the nature and evolution of the bilateral investment treaties (BITs) that have been developed to protect such investments and that have proliferated since the 1990s. The final article, by Büthe and Milner, turns its attention to the ways in which international trade agreements affect FDI. The comparison between teh investment and trade agreements is instructive, since they seem to have different effects.

Foreign Direct Investment and Institutional Diversity in Trade Agreements: Credibility, Commitment, and Economic Flows in the Developing World, 1971-2007

Co-Authored with Tim Büthe

World Politics. Volume 66, Number 1: 88-122.

Also available here.

Abstract:

International trade agreements lead to more foreign direct investment (FDI) in developing countries. This article examines the causal mechanisms underpinning this trade-investment linkage by asking whether institutional features of preferential trade agreements (PTAs), which allow governments to make more credible commitments to protect foreign investments, indeed result in greater FDI. The authors explore three institutional differences. First, they examine whether PTAs that have entered into force lead to greater FDI than PTAs that have merely been negotiated and signed, since only the former constitute a binding commitment under international law. Second, they ask whether trade agreements that have investment clauses lead to greater FDI. Third, they consider whether PTAs with dispute-settlement mechanisms lead to greater FDI. Analyses of FDI flows into 122 developing countries from 1971 to 2007 show that trade agreements that include stronger mechanisms for credible commitment induce more FDI. Institutional diversity in international agreements matters.

Public Opinion and Foreign Aid: A Review Essay

Co-Authored with Dustin H. Tingley

International Interactions. Volume 39, Number 3.

Also available here.

Trade Policy, Economic Interests and Party Politics in a Developing Country: The Political Economy of CAFTA

Co-Authored with Raymond Hicks and Dustin H. Tingley

International Studies Quarterly (forthcoming).

Abstract:

Developing countries have increasingly opened their economies to trade. Research about trade policy in developed countries focuses on a bottom-up process by identifying economic preferences of domestic groups. We know less about developing countries. We analyze how economic and political variables influenced Costa Rican voters in a referendum on CAFTA, an international trade agreement. We find little support for Stolper-Samuelson models of economic preferences, but more support for specific factor models. We also isolate the effects of political parties on the referendum, controlling for many economic factors; we document how at least one party influenced voters and this made the difference for CAFTA passage. Politics, namely parties using their organizational strength to cue and frame messages for voters, influenced this important trade policy decision. Theories about trade policy need to take into account top-down political factors along with economic interests.

Votes, Vetoes, and the Political Economy of International Trade Agreements

Co-Authored with Edward D. Mansfield

Abstract:

Preferential trading arrangements (PTAs) play an increasingly prominent role in the global political economy, two notable examples being the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement. These agreements foster economic integration among member states by enhancing their access to one another's markets. Yet despite the importance of PTAs to international trade and world politics, until now little attention has been focused on why governments choose to join them and how governments design them. This book offers valuable new insights into the political economy of PTA formation. Many economists have argued that the roots of these agreements lie in the promise they hold for improving the welfare of member states. Others have posited that trade agreements are a response to global political conditions. Edward Mansfield and Helen Milner argue that domestic politics provide a crucial impetus to the decision by governments to enter trade pacts. Drawing on this argument, they explain why democracies are more likely to enter PTAs than nondemocratic regimes, and why as the number of veto players--interest groups with the power to block policy change--increases in a prospective member state, the likelihood of the state entering a trade agreement is reduced. The book provides a novel view of the political foundations of trade agreements.

Data and Codebook

International Trade

In Walter Carlsnaes, Thomas Risse, and Beth A. Simmons, eds. Handbook of International Relations. 2nd Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2013, pp. 720-745.

First paragraph:

International trade is one of the most potent issues in domestic and international politics these days. As an element of globalization, international trade has become a contentious issue, as the protests and lack of agreement in the series of WTO conferences in Seattle, Cancun, and Geneva in the past decade have shown. The WTO's Doha Development Trade negotiations remain at an impasse as nations around the world fail to agree to a new compact. In international politics, trade is today a premier instrument of statecraft, as witnessed by the plethora of trade agreements being signed all over the world. How can we explain the trade policy that states make? What theories do we possess that illuminate the nature of countries' trade relations?

The Choice for Multilateralism: Foreign Aid and American Foreign Policy

Co-Authored with Dustin H. Tingley

Review of International Organizations, Volume 8, Issue 3: 313-41.

Also available here.

Abstract:

Why do governments choose multilateralism? We examine a principal-agent model in which states trade some control over the policy for greater burden sharing. The theory generates observable hypotheses regarding the reasons for and the patterns of support and opposition to multilateralism. To focus our study, we analyze support for bilateral and multilateral foreign aid giving in the US. Using new survey data, we provide evidence about the correlates of public and elite support for multilateral engagement. We find weak support for multilateralism and deep partisan divisions. Reflecting elite discourse, public opinion divides over two competing rationales–burden sharing and control–when faced with the choice between multilateral and bilateral aid channels. As domestic groups’ preferences over aid policy diverge from those of the multilateral institution, maintaining control over aid policy becomes more salient and support for multilateralism falls.

Preferential Trade Agreements in Hard Times

Co-Authored with Edward D. Mansfield

The Political Economist. Volume 9, Number 2, Winter 2012: 9-12.

Regime Type, Veto Players, and Preferential Trade Arrangements

Co-Authored with Edward D. Mansfield

Stanford Journal of International Law. Volume 46, Number 2, Summer 2010: 219-42.

Abstract:

Preferential trading agreements (PTAs) are proliferating rapidly. By 2006, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO), nearly 300 PTAs were in force, covering approximately half of the overseas trade conducted worldwide. Although just about every country now belongs to a PTA, some states have rushed to join many of these arrangements, whereas others have joined very few of them. What explains these variations? Some studies have emphasized that states enter PTAs to generate economic gains. There is considerable evidence that PTAs have ambiguous welfare implications, which sheds doubt on the claim that countries join them for economic reasons alone. Instead, we emphasize the domestic political benefits and costs for leaders contemplating membership. Two domestic political factors–the nature of the regime and the number of veto players–play a significant role in determining whether countries sign a PTA. The results of our statistical tests furnish considerable support for these arguments. Based on an analysis of all PTAs formed since World War II, more democratic states are more likely to establish PTAs than their less democratic counterparts. We also find that states are less likely to enter a trade agreement as the number of veto players increases.

The Center Still Holds: The Potential for Liberal Internationalism Survives

Co-Authored with Stephen Chaudoin and Dustin H. Tingley

International Security. Volume 35, Number 1, Summer 2010: 75-94.

For further discussion and debate, see the roundtable on H-Diplo about "Is Liberal Internationalism in decline", here.

Abstract:

Recent research including a prominent article in this journal has argued that America's longstanding foreign policy orientation of liberal internationalism has been in serious decline because of rising domestic partisan divisions. We question the theoretical logic and empirical evidence driving this argument. We reanalyze extant evidence on congressional roll call voting and public opinion surveys, which is often used to support the claim that liberal internationalism has declined. We also analyze new evidence about partisan divisions in Congress using policy gridlock and cosponsorship data from other studies of American politics. We do not observe the decline in bipartisanship in foreign policy that conventional wisdom suggests. We also find no evidence of a Vietnam War or a post Cold War effect on domestic partisan divisions on foreign policy. Unlike much of the recent literature, we argue that growing domestic political divisions over foreign policy have not made liberal internationalism impossible. It persists as a possible grand strategy for the US in part because of globalization pressures.

Data Description & Appendix


Who Supports Global Economic Engagement? The Sources of Preferences in American Foreign Economic Policy

Co-Authored with Dustin H. Tingley

International Organization. Volume 65, Issue 1, Winter 2011: 37-68.

Abstract:

In this article we bring together opposing international relations theories to better understand U.S. foreign policy, in particular foreign trade and aid. Using votes in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1979–2004, we explore different theoretical predictions about preferences for foreign economic policy. We assess the impact of domestic factors, namely political economy and ideological preferences, versus foreign policy pressures. Our three main results highlight the differential effect of these factors in the two issue areas. First, aid preferences are as affected by domestic political economy factors as are trade preferences. Second, trade preferences, but not economic aid ones, are shaped by the president's foreign policy concerns; for economic aid, domestic political economy factors matter more than foreign policy ones. Third, aid preferences are shaped more by ideological factors than are trade ones, but ideology plays a different substantive role in each. Different constituencies support aid and trade. This finding has implications for foreign policy substitutability, "the internationalist coalition" in U.S. foreign policy, "statist" theories of foreign policy, and the connection between public opinion and legislative voting.

Data and Do-Files

Supplementary Materials


The Political Economy of U.S. Foreign Aid: American Legislators and the Domestic Politics of Aid

Co-Authored with Dustin H. Tingley

Economics & Politics. Volume 22, Issue 2, July 2010: 200-232.

Abstract:

Are there systematic political economy factors that shape preferences for foreign aid, a key component of American foreign policy? We analyze votes in the House of Representatives from 1979 to 2003 that would increase or decrease foreign aid by considering the political, economic, and ideological characteristics of legislators and their districts. To understand who supports and opposes foreign aid, we utilize theories of foreign economic policy preferences. By examining different types of aid policy, we show that domestic politics and especially the distributional consequences of economic aid can matter. The economic characteristics of a district and its left-right ideological predispositions influence support for aid in a systematic fashion over the nearly twenty-five year period. Stolper-Samuelson models along with political ideology can help explain legislators' preferences toward aid.

Data and Do-files


Democratization and Economic Globalization

Co-Authored with Bumba Mukherjee

Annual Review of Political Science. Volume 12, June 2009: 163-181.

Abstract:

We address two questions that are central to the literature on the emergence of democracy and economic globalization. First, does democratization foster higher levels of trade and capital account openness? Second, do trade and capital account openness increase the likelihood of democratization? We review the literature in international political economy and comparative politics that has theoretically and empirically addressed these questions. We then conduct some empirical tests in a sample of developing countries to briefly evaluate the empirical relationship between democracy and economic globalization. Our analysis reveals that evidence for the claim that democracy fosters trade and capital account liberalization is robust but that empirical support for the predicted positive effect of economic openness on democracy among developing countries is weak. More theoretical work is needed to clarify the link between democracy and economic liberalization, and to this end we provide possible topics for future research.


The Politics of Foreign Direct Investment into Developing Countries: Increasing FDI through International Trade Agreements?

Co-Authored with Tim Büthe

American Journal of Political Science. Volume 52, Number 4, October 2008: 741-762.

Abstract:

The flow of foreign direct investment into developing countries varies greatly across countries and over time. The political factors that affect these flows are not well understood. Focusing on the relationship between trade and investment, we argue that international trade agreements- GATT/WTO and preferential trade agreements (PTAs)- provide mechanisms for making commitments to foreign investors about the treatment of their assets, thus reassuring investors and increasing investment. These international commitments are more credible than domestic policy choices, because reneging on them is more costly. Statistical analyses for 122 developing countries since the early 1970s support this argument. Developing countries that belong to the WTO and participate in more PTAs experience greater FDI inflows than otherwise, controlling for many factors including domestic policy preferences and taking into account possible endogeneity. Joining international trade agreements allows developing countries to attract more FDI and thus increase economic growth.


Democracy, Veto Players, and the Depth of Regional Integration

Co-Authored with Edward D. Mansfield and Jon C. Pevehouse

The World Economy. Volume 31, Number 1, January 2008: 67-96

Abstract:

In this paper, we examine the domestic political factors that might account for the choice of regional integration arrangement (RIA) that states enter. States can pursue at least five types of RIAs, in order of their depth of policy integration: preferential trade agreements, free trade areas, customs unions, common markets, and economic unions. What accounts for the type of arrangement that they choose? We argue that domestic politics influence this choice, particularly a country's regime type and the number of institutional "veto players." Democracies are more likely to form an RIA than other states, a tendency that becomes more pronounced as the proposed level of integration in an arrangement rises. However, all democracies are not the same. As the number of veto players rises, democratic governments are increasingly less likely to enter an RIA. Furthermore, RIAs that aim to achieve greater integration are likely to generate more pronounced distributional consequences than those that aim to achieve more modest amounts of integration. As the number of veto players increases in a democracy, so does the likelihood that at least one such player will have a constituency that is adversely affected by the RIA and therefore will block it. Consequently, veto players are expected to have a larger effect on the odds of a democracy forming an RIA, the greater is the extent of integration that the arrangement aims to achieve. A series of statistical tests, based on analysis of all pairs of countries from 1950 to 2000, support our arguments. Democracy and veto players strongly affect whether states enter an RIA, as well as the type of arrangement that they choose.


International Trade and Environmental Policy in the Post-Communist World

Co-Authored with Liliana Botcheva-Andonova and Edward D. Mansfield

Comparative Political Studies. Volume 40. Number 7. July 2007: 782-807.

Abstract:

This paper examines whether trade liberalization and increasing commercial openness has affected environmental policy in the post-Communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. During the Cold War, these countries had closed economies and autarkic trade policies combined with little environmental regulation and poor environmental quality. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet Union began a process of marked change. Many post-Communist countries have engaged in extensive trade liberalization. Some, however, have been slower to open their markets and others have maintained highly protectionist trade policies. Have countries that opened up to global markets improved their environmental policies or has increasing exposure to the international trading system undermined efforts to improve environmental policy? Controlling for a many economic and political factors, our results indicate that heightened trade openness has weakened one important element of environmental policy in the post-Communist world.


Vetoing Cooperation: The Impact of Veto Players on International Trade Agreements.

Co-Authored with Edward D. Mansfield and Jon C. Pevehouse

British Journal of Political Science. Volume 36, Number 4, December 2006: 403-432.

Abstract:

Since World War II, preferential trading arrangements (PTAs) have become increasingly pervasive features of the international economic system. A great deal of research has addressed the economic consequences of these arrangements, but far less effort has been made to identify the political factors leading states to enter them, especially the domestic influences on PTA formation. We investigate the domestic political factors affecting whether countries enter preferential trade agreements (PTAs). We focus on the number of veto players within a country and hypothesize that the probability of forming a PTA declines as the number of such players rises. Our data, covering 194 countries from 1950 to 1999, strongly support this hypothesis. Holding various political and economic factors constant, increasing the number of veto players within a country reduces the probability of signing a PTA by a sizable amount.


The Digital Divide: The Role of Political Institutions in Technology Diffusion.

Comparative Political Studies. Volume 39, Number 2, March 2006: 176-199.

Abstract:

What factors have promoted and retarded the spread of the internet globally? The internet is one example of the diffusion and adoption of technology generally. Much as other technologies, the internet has diffused unevenly across countries. This uneven spread has raised concerns over an increasing "digital divide". The main proposition here is that its spread has been driven by neither technological nor purely economic factors alone. Rather political factors, especially the type of domestic institutions, exert a powerful influence. Groups that believe they will lose from the internet try to use political institutions to enact policies that block the spread of the internet. Some political institutions make this easier to do than others. Data from roughly 190 countries over the past decade (1991-2001) show that a country's regime type matters greatly, even when controlling for other economic, technological, political and sociological factors. Democratic governments facilitate the spread of the internet relative to autocratic ones. Thus the spread of democracy may help reduce the digital divide.

Data, Do-File and Codebook


Why Multilateralism? Foreign Aid and Domestic Principal-Agent Problems

In Darren Hawkins et al., eds. Delegation and Agency in International Organizations. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006, pp. 107-139.

Abstract:

Why do countries delegate the distribution of foreign aid to international institutions? Why would governments relinquish control over their aid if they are a useful instrument of statecraft? Governments delegate aid delivery to international institutions when their publics lack information about the consequences of aid and fear that their governments will deviate from their preferences concerning its use. By using the international organization to send aid, the government issues a credible signal to domestic groups about the use of foreign aid. This signal leaves all actors better off by helping to solve a principal-agent problem in domestic politics. When publics are more skeptical about the benefits of aid, governments are more likely to turn aid over to multilateral organizations in order to reassure taxpayers that their money is being well spent. Using data on about 20 donor countries of the OECD from 1960-2000, I investigate the sources of multilateral giving, showing that public opinion has the expected negative relationship to multilateral aid-giving.


Review Essay: Globalization, Development, and International Institutions: Normative and Positive Perspectives.

Perspectives on Politics, Volume 3, Issue 04, December 2005, pp 833-854.

Abstract:

1. Introduction. 2. A Brief Review of the Books. 3. The Role of the International Economic Institutions. 4. The Experience of the Developing Countries. 5. Theories about the Functions and Benefits of International Institutions. 1) Constraining the Great Powers. 2) Providing Information and Reducing Transaction Costs. 3) Facilitating Reciprocity. 4) Facilitating Reform in Domestic Politics. 6. Four Sources of the Problems with International Institutions. 1) No Impact. 2) Capture by the Powerful Developed Countries. 3) Capture by Private Producers and Investors. 4) Internal Dysfunctions and Failure of Accountability. 7. International Justice and Institutions: Normative Perspectives. 1) Distributive Justice is Global. 2) Current Counterfactual Assessments are Insufficient. 3) The "Nationalist" Research Agenda Must Change. 8. Conclusions: What is to be Done?


Why the Move to Free Trade? Democracy and Trade Policy in the Developing Countries

Co-Authored with Keiko Kubota

International Organization, Volume 59, Issue 1, Winter 2005: 157-193

Abstract:

Rising international trade flows are a primary component of globalization. The liberalization of trade policy in many developing countries has helped foster the growth of these flows. Preceding and concurrent with this move to free trade, there has been a global movement toward democracy. We argue that these two trends are related: democratization of the political system reduces the ability of governments to use trade barriers as a strategy for building political support. Political leaders in labor rich countries may prefer lower trade barriers as democracy increases. Empirical evidence supports our claim about the developing countries from 1970-1999. Regime change toward democracy is associated with trade liberalization, controlling for many factors. Conventional explanations of economic reform, such as economic crises and external pressures, seem less salient. Democratization may have fostered globalization in this period.

Data, Do-File and Codebook


Partisanship, Trade Policy, and Globalization: Is There a Left-Right Divide on Trade Policy?

International Studies Quarterly, Volume 48, pp. 95-119

Abstract:

Are there noticeable differences among political parties in a country over their trade policy positions? Do left parties advocate different trade policies than right parties? In the advanced industrial countries where labor tends to be scarce, are left parties more protectionist than right ones, which represent capital owners? Political institutions within these democratic countries may affect the role of partisanship. We also investigate whether increasing globalization has led to more or less partisan polarization over trade policy. We examine 25 developed countries from 1945 to 1998 to see how their parties have competed over trade policy. Controlling for various factors, partisanship matters. Right parties consistently take more free trade stances than do left ones. Globalization and other international forces have also shaped both the nature and the extent of the domestic debate over exposure to international trade.

Data, Do-File to replicate the analysis and Codebook

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