Why do institutions emerge, operate, evolve and persist? Institutional Choice and Global Commerce elaborates a theory of boundedly rational institutional choice that explains when states USE available institutions, SELECT among alternative forums, CHANGE existing rules, or CREATE new arrangements (USCC). The authors reveal the striking staying power of the institutional status quo and test their innovative theory against evidence on institutional choice in global commerce from the nineteenth through the twenty-first centuries. Cases range from the establishment in 1876 of the first truly international system of commercial dispute resolution, the Mixed Courts of Egypt, to the founding and operation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the World Trade Organization, and the International Accounting Standards Board. Analysts of institutional choice henceforth must take seriously not only the distinct demands of specific cooperation dilemmas, but also the wide array of available institutional choices.
Over the past two decades, governments have delegated extensive regulatory authority to international private-sector organizations. This internationalization and privatization of rule making has been motivated not only by the economic benefits of common rules for global markets, but also by the realization that government regulators often lack the expertise and resources to deal with increasingly complex and urgent regulatory tasks. The New Global Rulers examines who writes the rules in international private organizations, as well as who wins, who loses--and why.Tim Büthe and Walter Mattli examine three powerful global private regulators: the International Accounting Standards Board, which develops financial reporting rules used by corporations in more than a hundred countries; and the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission, which account for 85 percent of all international product standards. Büthe and Mattli offer both a new framework for understanding global private regulation and detailed empirical analyses of such regulation based on multi-country, multi-industry business surveys. They find that global rule making by technical experts is highly political, and that even though rule making has shifted to the international level, domestic institutions remain crucial. Influence in this form of global private governance is not a function of the economic power of states, but of the ability of domestic standard-setters to provide timely information and speak with a single voice. Büthe and Mattli show how domestic institutions' abilities differ, particularly between the two main standardization players, the United States and Europe.
Regulation by public and private organizations can be hijacked by special interests or small groups of powerful firms, and nowhere is this easier than at the global level. In whose interest is the global economy being regulated? Under what conditions can global regulation be made to serve broader interests? This is the first book to examine systematically how and why such hijacking or "regulatory capture" happens, and how it can be averted. Walter Mattli and Ngaire Woods bring together leading experts to present an analytical framework to explain regulatory outcomes at the global level and offer a series of case studies that illustrate the challenges of a global economy in which many institutions are less transparent and are held much less accountable by the media and public officials than are domestic institutions. They explain when and how global regulation falls prey to regulatory capture, yet also shed light on the positive regulatory changes that have occurred in areas including human rights, shipping safety, and global finance. This book is a wake-up call to proponents of network governance, self-regulation, and the view that technocrats should be left to regulate with as little oversight as possible. In addition to the editors, the contributors are Kenneth W. Abbott, Samuel Barrows, Judith L. Goldstein, Eric Helleiner, Miles Kahler, David A. Lake, Kathryn Sikkink, Duncan Snidal, Richard H. Steinberg, and David Vogel.
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