Transnational Integration Regimes as Development Programs

37 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2008

See all articles by Laszlo Bruszt

Laszlo Bruszt

Central European University

Gerald A. McDermott

University of South Carolina - Moore School

Date Written: December 8, 2008


In drawing on recent advances in international and comparative political economy, this paper argues that diverging paths of institutional development among emerging market democracies are driven by the Transnational Integration Regimes (TIRs), in which a country is embedded. TIRs are more than trade agreements, aid projects, or harmonization systems and should be viewed as development programs. To date, research on the role of international factors shaping local institutional development has done little to move beyond references to markets and hegemonic hierarchies as the main mechanisms of change, compliance, and commitment. This work is largely based on a depoliticized view of institutional change, and overlooks the growing literature on the evolution of regulative capitalism and the diverse patterns of transnationalizing the modern state. By integrating this latter work into our analysis, we show how TIRs differ less in terms of their incentives and largess and more in terms of their emphasis on building institutional capacities and ability to merge monitoring and learning at both the national and supra-national levels. We develop a comparative framework to show these systematic differences through an analysis of the impact of the EU Accession Process on post-communist countries and NAFTA on Mexico.

Keywords: Institutions, transnational, development, regulation, Europe, NAFTA, Mexico

JEL Classification: F02, K2, K33, L5, O1, O57, O54, P2, P3

Suggested Citation

Bruszt, Laszlo and McDermott, Gerald A., Transnational Integration Regimes as Development Programs (December 8, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Laszlo Bruszt

Central European University ( email )

Nador u 9
Budapest, 1022

Gerald A. McDermott (Contact Author)

University of South Carolina - Moore School ( email )

1404 Greene St
Columbia, SC 29208
United States
803-777-1035 (Phone)


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