Your Place or Mine? Institutional Capture and the Creation of Overlapping International Institutions

British Journal of Political Science (2013)

45 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2013

Date Written: November 12, 2013

Abstract

Why do states create overlapping international institutions? This practice presents a puzzle: conventional wisdom suggests that states should use existing institutions to minimize the transaction costs of cooperation. We propose a bargaining approach to explain de novo creation of overlapping international institutions. In our model, a dissatisfied "challenger" state threatens to create a new institution. A "defender" state can propose to reform the currently focal institution. overlapping institutions are created when the currently focal institution is (i) captured by interests opposed to the challenger and (ii) domestic political pressure to abandon the status quo is intense. Similar to models of deterrence, the expectation that the new institution garners support among third parties is irrelevant for the equilibrium likelihood of de novo creation. A comparative analysis of international bargaining over energy, whaling, and intellectual property rights provides empirical evidence.

Keywords: international institutions; transaction costs; institutional capture; institutional overlap; bargaining

Suggested Citation

Urpelainen, Johannes and Van de Graaf, Thijs, Your Place or Mine? Institutional Capture and the Creation of Overlapping International Institutions (November 12, 2013). British Journal of Political Science (2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2353330

Johannes Urpelainen

Johns Hopkins SAIS ( email )

1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036-1984
United States

Thijs Van de Graaf (Contact Author)

Ghent University ( email )

Universiteitstraat 8
Ghent, 9000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.thijsvandegraaf.be

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