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How Can International Organizations Shape National Welfare States? Evidence from Compliance with European Union Directives

Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 40, No. 5, pp. 547-570, May 2007

24 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2011  

Katerina Linos

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Date Written: July 7, 2011

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Linos, Katerina, How Can International Organizations Shape National Welfare States? Evidence from Compliance with European Union Directives (July 7, 2011). Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 40, No. 5, pp. 547-570, May 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1881214

Katerina Linos (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

488 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

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