Week 5 Summaries

Peter Alexis Gourevitch, "The Second Image Reversed," International Organization 32:4 (Autumn, 1978), pp. 881-912.

Quoting (911): "The relationship among the three parts of this paper may be summarized as follows:  The international system is not only a
consequence of domestic politics and structures but a cause of them.  Economic relations and military pressures constrain an entire range of
domestic behaviors, from policy decisions to political forms.  International relations and domestic politics are therefore so interrelated that they should be analyzed simultaneously, as wholes."

Motivating this article are two tendencies: (1) "Most of the literature concerned with the interaction of the international system and domestic structure is authored by writers with international concerns, and that literature therefore primarily looks at the arrows that flow from domestic structure toward international relations"; and (2) "A comparativist often seeks to explain the nature of the domestic structure  To answer such questions, the international system may itself become an explanatory variable.  Instead of being a cause of international politics, domestic structure may be a consequence of it.  International systems, too, become causes instead of consequences."  (882)

The substance of the article focuses on the position of the comparativist and proceeds in three stages.  First, in the longest and most substantive section, it argues that there are a number of theories in international relations and political theory, which claim that domestic politics are shaped by international systems.  These theories focus primarily on war and economics as mediators. Second, it argues that 'the domestic structure' is often too casually supposed as a sufficiently informative representation of a given nation.  This argument is supported by a discussion of 'strong state' and 'weak state' as causes of international political behavior.  The author thinks that this distinction tends to hide more important causes in the domestic political situation.  Third and finally, it points out the presence of a 'consciousness' in the literature that an fluid exchange between international and domestic politics is not just a product of the contemporary world, but it an important fact of political history.

Robert O. Keohane and Helen V. Milner, eds., Internationalization and Domestic Politics New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.  Chapters 1-3, 5, 7. (pp. 3-75, 108-136, 159-185)

Helen V. Milner and Robert O. Keohane, "Internationalization and Domestic Politics: An Introduction" (Chapter 1) and Jeffrey A. Frieden and Ronald Rogowski, "The Impact of the International Eocnomy on National Policies: An Analytical Overview" (Chapter 2).  

            Internationalization is “the process generated by underlying shifts in transaction costs that produce observable flows of goods, services, and capital” (4).  Increases in these flows reflect the decreasing costs (or increasing benefits) of international transactions relative to national transactions.  Causes for this include decreases in transportation costs, improved physical and informational infrastructure, deregulation of capital markets and finance, increasing use of production processes characterized by economies of scale, etc. 
        Since this “exogenous easing of international exchange” (3) is not easily observable, internationalization is measured by its effects - the proportional growth of international flows to domestic ones.  In this book, internalization is treated as the major causal variable.  Dependent variables are: 1) policy preferences of domestic agents towards national policies and institutions and patterns of preference aggregation, 2) given these preferences, changes in national policy and institutions themselves, and 3) given preferences, policies, and institutions, the relationship between institutions and policy outcomes. 

Policy Preferences
            Internationalization affects domestic policy preferences through changes in relative prices of domestic goods and factors of production.  Two types of relative price movements are relevant: 1) price convergence caused by an exogenous decrease in trade barriers and 2) price shocks caused by exogenous changes in supply or demand for a good. 

Aggregate Welfare Effects
            Decreases in costs of trade lead to expansion of tradables sector of the domestic economy, which spells greater effect of global market trends on domestic economies of all states, including autarchies.  Thus, internationalization leads to intensification of domestic actors’ preferences over economic foreign policy.  Also, with the rise of economic pressure for price convergence, negative effects of trade barriers on aggregate welfare rise.  This is because the larger the gap between the world market prices and the domestic prices in the protected economy, the larger the deadweight cost to social welfare.  This cost is associated with investments in non-competitive protected enterprises.  Besides these “static efficiency costs of closure,” there are “dynamic costs”, which include reduced incentives to adopt new technologies and a general decline in efficiency of factor use (33).  The authors (Frieden and Rogowski) draw the following hypotheses: internal pressures to liberalize increase with internationalization, and these pressures are increasing in the degree to which the economy is closed and in the degree to which potential gains from trade exist.   
            Price shocks change a country’s terms of trade (Export price / Import price ratio).  When terms of trade improve, pressures to liberalize rise because of the increased social welfare cost of protection.  Conversely, when terms of trade decline, pressures for closure increase.  Internationalization causes fluctuations in terms of trade to have greater effect on aggregate welfare; therefore, the relationship between price shocks and policy preferences grows stronger with internationalization. 

Effects on domestic groups    
            Internationalization favors exporters, importers, and consumers of imported good and hurts import-competers.  Generally, those whose products are in line with a country’s comparative advantage will benefit (become exporters); the reverse is true.  There are three perspectives on how domestic interests will respond to internationalization.
            I.   Heckshner-Ohlin / Stolper-Samuelson.  Factors are assumed to be mobile across sectors.  A country will export abundant-factor intensive goods and import scarce-factor intensive goods.  Returns rise to owners of factors that are intensive in the production of a good whose price rises, and the increase in returns is greater than the increase in price.  Conversely, returns fall to owners of factors that are intensive in the production of a good whose price falls, and the decrease in returns is greater than the decrease in price.  Because internationalization raises prices of abundant-factor intensive goods and lowers prices of scarce-factor intensive goods, abundant factors benefit, and scarce factors lose.  Thus, internationalization intensifies conflict along factor lines. 
            II.   Ricardo-Viner.  Some factors are assumed to be sector-specific.  This means that 1) pressure for liberalization will vary with factor specificity, 2) competitive sectors benefit, non-competitive sectors lose, 3) conflict will manifest itself along sector lines.
            III.  Economies of scale and total factor productivity.  Internationalization benefits firms with economies of scale, firms with existing networks of international trade partners, and firms that are generally more experienced in the international markets.  Firms and industries that lack these qualities will lose.  
            As well as price convergence, particular price shocks affect domestic group preferences.  For example, resource booms can result in a “Dutch Disease.”  A rise in a price of natural resources spells higher income to those in that sector, which causes demand for and, subsequently, the price of non-tradables to rise.  This means that the costs of inputs into the non-booming tradables sector rise, and they become non-competitive.  Thus, ceteris paribus, exporters and producers of non-tradables win, producers of non-booming tradables lose.
        In much of the analysis above, Frieden and Rogowski use trade to illustrate internalization effects, since movement of capital produces shifts in preferences that are very similar.  Nevertheless, Keohane and Milner note that the increase in capital movement has been much greater than that in trade, and that the two produce effects on different dimensions.  Increases in capital mobility lead to “smoother consumption” and more volatile investment, while increases in good mobility lead to output volatility (15). 
        It’s important to realize that a country’s response to internationalization is not strictly a function of its effects on relative prices and, consequently, on policy preferences of domestic actors.  Other factors, such as partisanship, level of labor organization, and institutions shape outcomes too.

Implications for Government Policy
            1)  As noted above, internalization makes domestic economies more sensitive to world market trends.  Thus, the likelihood of domestic policy and institutional reforms will increase with internalization.
            2)   Internalization (specifically, increased capital mobility) undermines the autonomy and efficacy of government macroeconomic policy.  Left wing governments who favor expansionary monetary and fiscal policy will be more constrained than the right-wing governments who favor price-stability. 
        Two additional hypotheses follow:
            1) As stated above, internalization will affect all countries, including autarchies.  This is because changing opportunity costs, not increases in capital or trade flows per se, affect policy preferences.
            2) Internalization makes capital more powerful relative to labor and politicians.  This is because capital is more mobile and can employ a credible threat to exit in order to extract rents.

It should be clear that governments may resist pressures to liberalize even in the presence of potential gains to aggregate welfare, since these can be offset by concentrated costs, long-term social dividends, or short-term pain.  Some institutional arrangements can make politicians internalize aggregate social welfare and, therefore, are more receptive to internationalization pressures.  Three institutional features are relevant:
            I.    Breadth of constituency.  Liberalization is easier when constituencies are broad: 1) under democratic regimes, 2) when the number of constituencies is small, 3) when partisan fragmentation is low. 
            II.   Credibility.  Liberalization is easier when governments can credibly commit to direct compensatory transfers to the potential losers.
            III.  Time horizons.  Liberalization is easier when politicians’ time horizons are longer: 1) long cabinet life, 2) fixed terms of office and stable majorities, 3) insulated decision-makers
Other institutional arrangements can enable potential losers to block the effects of internationalization or to limit access of potential winners to policy-making.  Such institutions can 1) obscure interest formation by blocking price signals from international economy to the domestic one (relevant in autarchies), 2) freeze existing policies and coalitions, or 3) influence leaders’ choices.

Geoffrey Garrett and Peter Lange, "Internationalization, Institutions, and Political Change" (Chapter 3).  

To illustrate institutional effects on policy and institutional change, the authors use a model of an economy with two sectors: tradables and non-tradables.  There are two time periods, and tradables expand (e.g. due to internationalization) in the second period.  Institutions aside, there should be a decline in “Keynesian welfare state policies” that favor non-tradables.  The government is concerned with office retention through 1) redistribution to core constituency and 2) broadening its core constituency by pursuing favorable macroeconomic policy.  Redistribution concerns dominate concerns about aggregate social welfare. 
        There are two types of institutions in every society.  The first type, socioeconomic institutions, direct organization of interests in the private sector.  They affect the types of redistributional demands by domestic groups and influence the macroeconomic constraints under which governments operate.  Labor market institutions belong to this type.  The authors show that following the expansion of the tradables sector, both very weak labor market institutions and strong, centralized labor market institutions will allow countries to take advantage of increased trade, and make it easier for governments to follow liberalization policies.  The former will be unable to stop growing economic pressures for liberalization.  The latter, because they are centralized, will internalize costs of protection, and will favor liberalization with compensation to labor in the non-tradables sector.  On the other hand, when labor market institutions are strong but decentralized, redistributional pressures by unions in the non-tradables sector will be powerful.  Liberalization will be strongly opposed, and economic performance will deteriorate.
        The second type, formal political institutions, aggregate interests in the public arena.  Keynesian welfare policies will decrease and liberalization increase when the following institutional characteristics apply (this is partly a restatement of, and an elaboration on, institutional section from Chs 1 and 2):
            1)      Government is responsive to new growing policy demands (i.e. institutions are democratic)
            2)      Electoral bias against economically powerful sector is minimized (i.e. there are few small, institutionally privileged groups; e.g. agriculture in the US is institutionally privileged through geographic representation in the Senate).  Proportional representation is the best for this.
            3)      There are few veto points – the government is highly responsive to changing policy demands.
            4)      The central bank is independent from the government (promoting competitive behavior in the tradables sector). 
The authors note that a political economy system that meets all these conditions (plus weak labor markets) does not exist.  But when few of these conditions are met, there exist strong incentives for governments to engage in institutional change in order to strengthen the position of the tradables sector and improve macroeconomic conditions.  From their model, the authors derive the following predictions: a government is more likely to undertake institutional change 1) the less risk-averse it is, 2) the longer its guaranteed terms of office, and 3) the more favorable the conditions of international economy.  This is based on the fact that institutional reform brings short-term losses but long-term gains to the government’s utility (graph on 71).

Jeffry A. Frieden, "Economic Integration and the Politics of Monetary Policy in the United States" (Chapter 5).

        Frieden explores the link between international economic integration and political importance of monetary policy.   In a closed economy, monetary policy affects nominal prices, and so it involves broad macroeconomic aggregates (e.g. growth and unemployment).  Few groups exist with intense preferences over monetary policies: industries that borrow capital (e.g. housing) favor loose policies, creditors (i.e. financial sector) favor tight policies.  
        In an open economy, on the other hand, monetary policy affects relative prices, since domestic interest rates and prices of tradable goods now depend on world markets.  Therefore, monetary policy has a direct effect on the exchange rate.  Tradables producers favor loose policies, non-tradables producers favor tight policies.  In addition, internationally oriented firms favor fixed exchange rates, while producers of non-tradables and import-competers favor floating exchange rates.   In an open economy, monetary policy involves more concentrated and defined economic interests and so is expected to be of greater sociopolitical importance than it is in a closed economy.  Frieden also suggests that in a closed American economy the President should be more concerned with monetary policy than the Senate, while the converse should hold in an open economy.  This is because the President has a broad constituency and, therefore, has incentives to focus on issues of aggregate economic concern.  In a closed economy, again, these are affected by the monetary policy.  Members of Congress, on the other hand, have geographically concentrated constituencies and are more susceptible to pressures by specific groups.   Additionally, in an open economy, monetary and trade policies are potential substitutes, since the exchange rate is affected.  Frieden examines three periods in the US history and shows how changes in openness of the economy were accompanied, as predicted, by changes in the political prominence, political cleavages, and Congressional activity associated with the making of monetary policy.

Matthew Evangelista, "Stalin's Revenge: Institutional Barriers to Internationalization in the Soviet Union" (Chapter 7).  

        Institutions of the USSR blocked price signals from international economy thereby obscuring formation of preferences consistent with Frieden and Rogowski’s analysis in ch2.  The two main institutions that played that role were the state monopoly on foreign trade and the “administrative-command system” of central planning.  In addition, “democratic centralism” or nomenklatura system of appointments at all levels of administration ensured that even if preferences were recognized, they could not be acted upon. 
        However, may have been three indirect ways, through which internationalization impacted the Soviet economy.
            1)  Inflation and the budget deficit.  A simplified picture: the USSR exported oil and imported bread.  In the 80s, the price of oil collapsed and the price of bread rose on the international markets – the terms of trade declined.  This prompted increases in government subsidies and foreign debt, which led to inflation and budget deficits.
            2)  The reformist coalition.   Isolation from international competition produced technological stagnation, which would induce competent managers, apparatchiks, and intelligentsia to demand more openness, and these demands would be further fueled by increasing internationalization.
            3)  The loss of Eastern Europe.  During the 1970s, when the price of oil was high on world markets, the USSR sold oil to its satellites at depressed prices thereby enduring opportunity costs for not selling it at full price.  This also made the Eastern European economies dependent on cheap oil.  When, in the 80s, the price of oil fell, the subsidies decreased.  This weakened the communist regimes and allowed for formations of pro-Western coalitions.
            After presenting each of the above arguments, the author noted that the relationship between the world economy and the described changes could have been spurious.  None of these discussions completely conformed to Frieden and Rogowski’s predictions.
            The author then goes on to show, using the case of the energy sector, how the Soviet institutions intervened, and how their legacy continues to intervene, in the preference and strategy formation of the actors in the economy.

Jeffry A. Frieden, “Invested Interests: The Politics of National Economic Policies in a World of Global Finance,” International Organization 45:4 (Autumn 1991), pp. 425-51.

High international capital mobility of capital is a salient feature of the contemporary international economy. In this article, Frieden proposes a framework to analyze the politics of international capital mobility focusing on distributional implications of (a) cross-border capital movements and (b) domestic economic policies. Friden argues that (1) Although financial capital is extremely mobile, other sector-specific capital and equities are far less mobile, and national economic policies still work (2a) In the long run, international financial integration tends to favor capital over labor in developed countries (2b) In the shorter run, financial integration favors capitalists with mobile/diversified assets and disfavors ones with assets tied to specific locations and activities in developed countries (3) international capital mobility remake new political division such as producers of tradable goods vs. producers of nontradable goods, internationally diversified investors vs. undiversified investors.  

Although international capital mobility is impressive, borders and currencies are still substantial barriers to investment flows because of (1) country/currency risk (2) different forms of capital have different mobilities (bonds and bank claims have near perfect mobility compared to equities and other non-financial assets such as knowledge). If capital is specific to location, increased financial integration has only limited effects on sector-specific policies. But integration of financial markets has significant effects on the effectiveness and distributional impact of national macro-economic policies. Under full capital mobility condition, national economic policy (monetary/fiscal) cannot affect the national interest rate; it can only affect the exchange rate, and economic policies operate via exchange rate, not interest rate. And this has a different distributional effects compared to the world without capital mobility.

In long term, capital mobility generally increases political influence of owners of financial assets because they can invest anywhere with higher returns. An distributional implication is a possible conflict between [owners/managers of financial assets and the multinational corporations (MNSc) who gains from financial integration] and [owners/managers of the specific-factors (production factors that cannot be transferred to another industry/location in a short term) who loses from financial integration].
A trade-off between national macroeconomic policy autonomy and exchange rate stability has developed, with international investors/traders more willing to give up (monetary policy) autonomy for (exchange rate) stability, and nontradables and domestically oriented sectors are interested in autonomy than exchange rates. Producers of tradable goods prefer monetary expansion (and depreciation) while international investors and producers of nontradable goods prefer monetary contraction (and appreciation). Economic policy coordination is important both in domestic and international level, and those for whom overseas economic conditions are more relevant (international investors/traders, and producers of tradable goods) will favor more coordinated policies (and thus a surrender of more national policy autonomy) than those for whom domestic conditions are determinant.

Ronald Rogowski, “Political Cleavages and Changing Exposure to Trade,” American Political Science Review 81:4 (December 1987), pp. 1121-38.

Rogowski proposes a hypothesis that explains the impact of externally induced changes in international trade – in countries with different factor endowments – on varying patterns of political cleavage. Accordingly, changes in countries’ exposure to trade (the independent variable) should help explain why countries have the political cleavages they do and why those change (the dependent variable). In proposing this hypothesis, Rogowski acknowledges the importance of other variables (such as ancient cultural and religious loyalties, wars and migrations, or historical memories as the French Revolution) in explaining varying patterns of political cleavages but complements them with an additional variable that, so far, has been less noticed in this context.

Rogowski argues that the basic results of the theory of international trade – including in particular the Stolper-Samuelson Theorem – imply that increases or decreases in the costs and difficulty of international trade should powerfully affect domestic political cleavages. Such effects would vary but yet remain predictable depending on the factor endowments of each country. To examine his hypothesis, Rogowski conducts “a more systematic, if still sketchy” and non-conclusive review of the historical evidence. Four periods of global change in exposure to trade are examined (namely, the “long” 16th century, the 19th century, the depression of the 1930s, and the years since WW2) and patterns of cleavages in specific countries are compared in view of their factor endowments.

According to the Stolper-Samuelson Theorem, in any society, protection benefits – and liberalization of trade harms – owners of factors in which that society is poorly endowed relative to the rest of the world. Similarly, producers who use the scarce factors will benefit (in case of protection). The opposite is also true, protection harms – and liberalization benefits – the owners of factors that are abundantly available. Rogowski notes that exogenous changes can have the same effects as an increase or decrease in protection. For instance, changes in tariff policies should have a similar effect as changes in transportation costs. Hence as a result of global exogenous changes that increase international trade (such as cheaper transportation, availability of super-tankers and cheap oil), owners and intensive employers of locally abundant factors must have benefited economically. At the same time, intensive employers of locally scarce factors must have been harmed economically. Once the economic impact of such changes is established, Rogowski develops a model that will help predict the political consequences of those shifts in wealth and income.

Politically, Rogowski assumes that: (1) the beneficiaries of a change will try to accelerate it (e.g. will seek to expand free trade) and vice versa; (2) those that enjoy a sudden increase in wealth will thereby be enabled to expand their political influence. Economically, Rogowski adopts the following assumptions: (1) a 3-factor economy (land, labor, and capital); (2) the land/labor ratio fully informs us about the any country’s endowment of those two factors (i.e. no one country can be rich in both factors: a high land-labor ratio implies abundance of land and scarcity of labor); (3) an advanced economy is one in which capital is abundant. Thus, the model recognizes four types of economies based on two variables: capital rich/poor and high/low land/labor ratio.

Rogowski hypothesizes that combining the Stolper-Samuelson Theorem with the above model implies that increasing exposure to trade would result in urban-rural conflict in two kinds of economies and in class conflict in the two others. For instance, in an advanced economy (and therefore capital-rich) endowed abundantly in labor but poorly in land, an expansion of trade will benefit the owners of capital and labor (capitalists and workers) and will harm the land-owners and the pastoral and agricultural enterprises that use land intensively. Thus, we would expect capitalist and workers to support pro-trade policies and to work in concert to increase their political influence. This would bring about an urban-rural conflict.

According to the same logic, an urban-rural conflict is expected to result from an increase in international trade in a labor-poor and backward economy (i.e. where both labor and capital are scarce). Accordingly, when trade expands capitalists and workers are harmed and will seek protection. Rogowski demonstrates this using an example from the US in the 19th century (and specifically in the debates of the 1896 presidential campaign). Since in the 19th century US labor and capital were scarce, the theory correctly predicts an urban-rural conflict with the agrarians assuming the free-trading role.

In a similar way, Rogowski demonstrates the plausibility of his theory by using examples from 19th century Germany (poor in capital and rich in labor and therefore prone to class conflict) and from 19th century Britain (rich in capital and poor in land and therefore prone to rural-urban conflict).

Rogowski suggests that this theory may have further implications. More specifically, it can be utilized to improve our understanding of three historical riddles or conjectures. Two of these include: (1) an observation that among labor-rich economies the state is expected to have a stronger role when development follows a significant exposure to trade (by contrast, in an economy that has accumulated abundant capital before it is opened to trade, capital and labor will operate in relative harmony and little state intervention will be required). (2) Why is there no socialism in the US? According to Rogowski: since the US is a land rich economy it does not lend itself to pro-labor political movements that are not expected to prosper when trade is rising and labor is scarce.          

Rogowski presents three possible objections to his theory: (1) the political effects described in the model will not apply in countries that depend only slightly on trade; (2) the cleavages should not persist since people would quickly disinvest from losing factors and enterprises; (3) the theory does not predict the outcome of these theories just that they will exist. Rogowski addresses the first two objections and accepts the 3rd. Namely, that his model indeed predicts cleavages and not their outcomes.   

Richard Price, "Reversing the Gun Sights: Transnational Civil Society Targets Land Mines.," International Organization 52:3 (1998), pp. 613-644.

To set the stage, Price begins by explaining why the predominant theories of international relations have difficulty accounting for crucial developments in the effort to ban land mines (an international effort that took place throughout the 1990s): (1) Realist theories expect states to base their decisions on considerations of utility. However, in fact, many states have decided that the military utility of land mines is outweighed by their humanitarian costs (thus incorporating a moral dimension to the definition of the national interest). (2) Neo-liberal approaches assume that international agreements are reached thru a bargaining process between state interests that are internally derived. Such approaches do not properly account for state interests that result from normative changes that are initiated by non-state actors. (3) Constructivist approaches to date (i.e. 1998) focused solely on the state as an actor and paid less attention to other sources of socialization that have been important in generating norms in a variety of issue areas. At the same time, constructivist scholars who investigated the role of non-state actors in generating international norms (and in defining state interests) have typically focused on non-security issues such as human rights and the environment.       

Price attempts to bridge the above gap (in the works of constructivist scholars) by examining the processes by which members of a transnational civil society (which is defined as a set of interactions within an imagined community that is not confined to the territorial and institutional spaces of states) seek to change the security policies of states thru the generation of international norms that shape and redefine state interests. After relying on works of constructivist scholars who have demonstrated that states are socialized to norms, Price decides to analyze how a socialization process occurs (using the campaign to ban land mines as a case study). The broader implication of such an analysis, according to Price, is that it can help address some of the charges made against the early constructivist literature. Namely, that it does not adequately explain why some norms are accepted by some states and not by others and why some norms fail.

In describing the socialization process of new international norms, Price argues that the roles of moral persuasion and social pressure (that arises from identity politics and emulation) are particularly crucial in understanding the mechanisms of the generation of a new norm proscribing AP land mines. Accordingly, in speculating about the impetus for an international norm change fostered by transnational civil society, Price traces two processes of norm adoption: (1) thru moral entrepreneurship; (2) thru emulation.

After singling out the two above norm adoption processes, Price examines in detail the land mine prohibition campaign and identifies four pedagogical techniques that have been used. The techniques are: (1) Issue generation by information dissemination: Price maintains that international organizations succeeded in identifying and politicizing the situation as a crisis issue on state agendas. The establishment of  the perception of a crisis, Price quotes other IR scholars, was crucial in precipitating ideational or normative change. (2) Establishment of networks: Networking with political officials in governments and international organizations enabled to connect local agenda to the interstate agenda. Moreover, the global web of electronic media (enabled by the technological advances in telecommunications) allowed activists to establish networks among themselves and to expedite the global dissemination of information towards the common goals. (3) Grafting of a new norm onto existing norms: Ensuring that the new norm will resonate with already established norms was critical in the effort to de-legitimize the use of land mines. More specifically, an attempt was made to establish moral parallels with other practices of warfare that have already been de-legitimized (e.g., the use of chemical weapons). (4) Reversing of the burden of proof: By credibly questioning the military utility of land mines, the activists succeeded in placing states on the defensive and in forcing them to publicly justify their positions. Furthermore, after reaching the “tipping point” (which consisted of a critical mass of states and of critical states adopting the ban), the technique of shaming to induce norm adoption was readily employed.

Price concludes that transnational civil society can exist not only as a community of political engagement in world politics, but it can also have a meaningful impact, acting thru networks, in teaching governments what is appropriate to pursue in politics. 

Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink, Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998. Chs. 1 & 3

Ch1: Introduction

This chapter sets out to define key terms and state theoretical foundations and implications of transnational advocacy networks (TANs).

Networks are “forms of organization characterized by voluntary, reciprocal, and horizontal patterns of communication and exchange.” (8) Transnational advocacy networks (TANs) are networks of activists motivated by principled ideas or values.  They are communicative structures, which make the strategic use of information in order to create and implement new ideas, norms, and discourses.  By so doing, they help to transform the practice of national sovereignty by making territorial boundaries more porous.

TANs emerge for three reasons.  First, channels between domestic groups and their governments may be blocked, or such channels are no longer effective.  Secondly, activists believe that networks and their activities will promote their personally held goals and missions.  Thirdly, the existence of international contact is extensive as to create arenas of forming and strengthening networks.  

Moreover, they employ four kinds of strategies to achieve their goals.  One is information politics to generate and move politically usable information to where it will be most useful.  Two, symbolic politics of employing symbols, actions or stories that make sense of a situation for an audience far away.  Three, TANs engage in leverage politics of calling upon governments and other international actors to affect the negligible situation.  And lastly, they engage in accountability politics of holding powerful actors to their previously stated policies or principles.  Their aim is to persuade, socialize and pressure international actors to adopt certain kinds of norms and values.  What is important here is the construction of appropriate and strategic cognitive frames, which impacts frame resonance and hence the success of advocacy activities.

The likelihood of success of TANs depends on two factors: issue characteristics and actor characteristics.  TANs are most likely to succeed if the issues regarding physical harm to the vulnerable and legal equality, and if there exist dense networks with strong connection and reliable information flow between them.

The most significant implication of the study of TANs are that norms matter: They matter because they constrain the behavior of international actors such as states.  Since norms are embedded in social structures and represent a shared set of understandings and expectations as to what is appropriate behavior, changes in these practices and understandings should in turn transform the norms themselves.

Ch 3: Human Rights Advocacy Networks in Latin America

In this chapter, Keck and Sikkink attempt to show that international human rights pressures can lead to changes in human rights practices.  The emphasis is on the role of human agency and NGOs in making human rights issues salient from the emergence of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to pressuring violator states to respect human rights.  The combined forces of INGOs (international NGOs), NGOs, IOs (intergovernmental organizations) such as the human rights bodies of the UN, and Foundations and Funders enabled the human rights activists to share information with one another and operate effectively.

The authors then examine the cases studies of Argentina and Mexico, in order to show that the governments’ human rights policies have emerged as a response to pressure from organizations in the human rights network.  In the case of Argentina, the human rights documentation provided by Amnesty International and other NGOs even formed the basis of early US action on Argentina, with respect to the issue of human rights violations in Argentina.  Furthermore, by developing significant external contacts with INGOs and IOs, the TANs were better able to publicize the human rights situation, to fund their activities, and to create international pressure on the Argentine government in addition to domestic pressure, forcing the government to move from initial refusal to the acceptance of international human rights interventions.

In the case of Mexico, TANs did not exist between 1968-9, provoking no international pressure on the human rights violations in the country.  The emergence of TANs from 1970 to 1988 did not focus on Mexico as a problem case, and hence the violations continued.  But from 1988 to 1994, the international network in collaboration with domestic NGOs provoked a rapid and forceful response from the Mexican government, contributing a decline in human rights vilations.

What the case studies suggest is that the existence and the activities of TANs were a necessary but not sufficient condition for changing human rights practices.  “The vulnerability of the target state is thus [another] key factor in network effectiveness.” (117)  The key aspect of target vulnerability is the availability of leverage, both in military and economic terms.  But more than that, it is the “combination of moral and material pressure that leads to change.  Transforming state practices has come about linking principled ideas to material goals.” (118)  

The overall conclusion is that “effective human rights networking does not imply a simple victory of norms over interests.  The networks were influential within states because they helped to shape a reformulation of how national interest was understood at times when global events were calling into question traditional understandings of sovereignty and national interest.” (119)

Lars-Erik Cederman, "Modeling the Democratic Peace as a Kantian Process", Journal of Conflict Resolution 45:4 (August 2001), pp. 470-502.

Most of the democratic peace literature seeks to explain the democratic peace as a constant law holding at a dyadic state level. However, Kant's original theory of perpetual peace is  based not only on democracies never going to war, but an emergent macroprocess from three causal mechanisms: strategic tagging (democratic regimes recognize other democracies and do not attack them), regime-sensitive alliances (threat perceptions that determine alliance are based not only on power, but on threat perceptions, and democracies are no threat to democracies), and liberal collective security (whenever a democracy is attacked, all democracies neighboring the autocratic aggressor attack that aggressor). Rather than explain the democratic peace, this study focuses on the consequences of the democratic peace by taking it as the assumption. However, because history cannot be rerun in multiple tests, a computational model is ideal for theoretically exploring the different possibillities from multiple runs of history with democratic peace assumptions.

Cederman constructs a program in which rational expansionist states fight each other with a grim trigger strategy (if attacked, fight to the death) for territory in their expansionist drives. Each of 225 states originally occupies a single square of a 15x15 grid, which for the states is the world. He varies the starting population of democratic states among autocratic states as anywhere between 0% and 100%.  Each state defends each of its borders by dividing a fixed amount of resources (troops) between its borders, based power. The model is run for 1000 iterations, during each of which each state has the opportunity to attack its neighbors with some positive probability.

Because of strategic tagging, if the state is a democracy and borders on other democracies, it need not allocate any troops to that border (like the Canada-US border). Because of regime-dependent alliances, democracies know that they need not balance against other democracies, freeing them to balance against autocracies. Because of the collective security regime for democracies, attacks against aggressive autocracies are coordinated and simultaneous. These mechanisms give democracies an advantage over autocracies, whose democratic flanks are not protected by ideology.  In general, the percentage of democracies given at the first iteration has an exponentially positive effect on the percentage of democracies at the 1000th iteration. The model vindicates Kant's original theory in that it is indeed possible to grow the democratic peace in very inhospitable environments (490).

Hendrik Spruyt. The Sovereign State and its Competitors. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994. Chapter 8: “The Victory of the Sovereign State”

Spruyt considers the question: “What happened in the three centuries preceding Westphalia that allowed sovereign states to become the constitutive elements of the global state system?”  (p. 154)  Spruyt argues that sovereign states (such as France) beat out city-state leagues (like the Hansa) because sovereign, territorial states were “more effective and more efficient in curtailing freeriding and defection, and hence they were better at mobilizing the resources of their societies.”  (p. 155)  

Spruyt first considers the problems with this proposition in the context of a “Darwinian” selection mechanism through war.  Spruyt extends the conventional literature of interstate competition to consider whether the “success between dislike units be explained by success in war.”  (p. 156)  He identifies two variants to this argument: the efficacy (in terms of ability to raise revenue and trained troops) of the sovereign state versus the feudal mode of organization (which he rejects because the city-leagues enjoyed similar advantages); and the efficacy of the sovereign state against the city-leagues (which he rejects because city-states in this period had greater revenues than the states).  Thus, Spruyt rejects the hypothesis that sovereign states beat the city-leagues because they had more land, more money, and were thus able to raise larger and better armies.  He points out that although many member towns of the Hansa were devastated by the Thirty Years War, “it was not the war that led to the demise of the Hansa.”  (p. 178)  

Spruyt instead argues for Darwinian selection through three mechanisms:  

1)  Survival of the fittest, in terms of standardization of weights and measures, standardization of coinage, tariff-free trading areas, binding regulation of trade, and an internal juridical hierarchy.  While the sovereign state could provide all of these things, the city-leagues struggled to reduce transaction costs and other barriers to trade due to the strong vestigal autonomy of its members.  

2)  Mutual empowerment, in the sense that sovereign states preferred interacting with other sovereign states.   The sovereign was an identifiable party, responsible for the execution of treaties and capable of punishing internal defectors.  In contrast, the representative bodies of the city-leagues were not sovereign and could not negotiate credibly, nor curtail either defection or freeriding under treaties.  

Spruyt’s weakest point is the argument that the city-leagues tried to have “the widest possible extension of political control over its sphere of economic interactions.”  (p. 169)  In contrast, Spruyt says that sovereign states “are delimited by explicit territorial parameters.  Although states might very well seek expansion, their claim to authority is limited by their recognition that authority only extends to their borders.  …states are not logically predisposed to extene their political control to other areas.  Sovereignity is based on the principle of juridical equality.”  (p. 169-170)  

3)  Deliberate mimicry and exit, meaning that the German lords looked at the success (in terms of reducing internal transaction costs, providing collective goods, generating revenue, and mobilizing resources) and decided that “sovereign, territorial statehood was the most preferable form of organization.”  (p. 172)  Although the Hansa tried to become more like a sovereign state, the member towns increasingly defected from the league, and allied with local lords who were “increasingly acting as sovereign, territorial rulers.”  (p. 172) 

In the final section, Spruyt applies these lessons to the Italian city-states, a form of organization which shares characteristics from both the city-leagues and the sovereign states.