The Rise of International Regime Complexity

Posted: 29 Oct 2018

See all articles by Karen J. Alter

Karen J. Alter

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science; University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Law - iCourts Center of Excellence

Kal Raustiala

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2018

Abstract

The signature feature of twenty-first-century international cooperation is arguably not the regime but the regime complex. A regime complex is an array of partially overlapping and nonhierarchical institutions that includes more than one international agreement or authority. The institutions and agreements may be functional or territorial in nature. International regime complexity refers to international political systems of global governance that emerge because of the coexistence of rule density and regime complexes. This article highlights insights and questions that emerge from the last 15 years of scholarship on the politics of international regime complexity, explaining why regime complexes arise, what factors sustain them, and the range of political effects regime complexity creates. Our conclusion explains why, in a post-American world order, the trend of greater international regime complexity will likely accelerate.

Suggested Citation

Alter, Karen J. and Raustiala, Kal, The Rise of International Regime Complexity (October 2018). Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 14, pp. 329-349, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3273799 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-101317-030830

Karen J. Alter (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science ( email )

601 University Place
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Law - iCourts Center of Excellence ( email )

Karen Blixens Plads 16
Copenhagen, DK-2300
Denmark

Kal Raustiala

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
310-794-4856 (Phone)

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