How Can International Organizations Shape National Welfare States? Evidence from Compliance with European Union Directives
University of California, Berkeley - School of Law
July 7, 2011
Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 40, No. 5, pp. 547-570, May 2007
How can international organizations shape national welfare states? The answer depends on why national governments comply with international organization mandates. Enforcement theories predict that states’ policy preferences determine implementation, whereas managerial theories attribute noncompliance to states’ capability limitations and to institutions. This article derives specific compliance mechanisms from these theories and examines the implementation of European Union social policy directives through a new quantitative data set and qualitative case studies of Greece and Spain. Countries whose preferences diverge from social policy directives, specifically countries lacking related early national legislation, and countries with low labor costs, delay implementation. However, delays from capability limitations are much greater – poor bureaucracies, federal states, coalition governments, and parliaments that do not prepare for directives cause big delays. These findings suggest that international organizations can shape national social policies by reorienting the axes of contestation from left-right to supranational-subnational.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Date posted: July 9, 2011