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The Politicization of International Economic Institutions in US Public Debates

The Review of International Organizations: Volume 8, Issue 3, 2013, pp. 363-387

45 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2014  

Thomas Rixen

University of Bamberg - Department of Political Science

Bernhard Zangl

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Date Written: September 28, 2014

Abstract

Recent research has noted a trend of increased “politicization” of international politics, i.e., decisions of international institutions are increasingly debated and contested within civil society. What is lacking so far are explanations for this trend. In this paper we derive four potential explanations and empirically test them. The first two, society-centered, hypotheses focus on the process of socio-economic modernization on the one hand and civil society structures on the other. The second pair of polity-centered hypotheses focuses on the decision-making power of international institutions and on their legitimacy. We measure politicization on the basis of a quantitative content analysis of US quality newspaper articles about four decisions of different international institutions in the issue area of international taxation. Our finding is that politicization is driven by the increasing decision making authority of international institutions rather than by the lack of legitimacy of their procedures or the factors emphasized by society-centered approaches.

Keywords: Politicization, international institutions, authority, legitimacy, mobilization, international trade, international taxation

JEL Classification: F13, F21, F55, F68, H87

Suggested Citation

Rixen, Thomas and Zangl, Bernhard, The Politicization of International Economic Institutions in US Public Debates (September 28, 2014). The Review of International Organizations: Volume 8, Issue 3, 2013, pp. 363-387. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2502520

Thomas Rixen (Contact Author)

University of Bamberg - Department of Political Science ( email )

Feldkirchenstrasse 21
96045 Bamberg
Germany

Bernhard Zangl

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, Bavaria 80539
Germany

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