Why do some democratic countries join more intergovernmental organizations than others?

Denis Rey, John Barkdull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective. This study investigates whether variations in democratic institutions influence foreign policy outcomes. Specifically, it examines whether democracies differ systematically in their inclination to join international organizations. Methods. The study performs negative binomial estimation analysis of the relationship between IGO membership and variations in democratic structure. Results. It finds that a more competitive party system and multiple legislative chambers, especially for wealthy and stable Western democracies, contribute to more IGO memberships. Conclusions. From our findings we infer that consensus democracies adopt a kinder, gender foreign policy that includes more willingness to participate in multilateral, cooperative international institutions, relying on negotiation and compromise to reach mutually acceptable arrangements for dealing with common problems. This assertion fits with a fundamental Kantian thesis: that the more representative and accountable a society's political institutions are, the more peaceful that society is likely to be.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-402
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Volume86
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2005

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