The Domestic Politics of Entering International Communities: An Exploratory Analysis

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In the last thirty years, there has been a significant increase in the globalization process, or as other refer to it, the internationalization, free trade, or liberalization. This trend was reflected in the increasing number of newly formed international organization (economic and security) as well as in the increased membership in the already existing ones. The evidence of this trend has been particularly visible since the end of the Cold War, when the race of the Eastern European countries to enter international organizations has been as competitive as ever. Nonetheless, a number of countries, upon careful evaluation and consideration of ... continued below

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Radin, Dagmar May 2003.

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  • Radin, Dagmar

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In the last thirty years, there has been a significant increase in the globalization process, or as other refer to it, the internationalization, free trade, or liberalization. This trend was reflected in the increasing number of newly formed international organization (economic and security) as well as in the increased membership in the already existing ones. The evidence of this trend has been particularly visible since the end of the Cold War, when the race of the Eastern European countries to enter international organizations has been as competitive as ever. Nonetheless, a number of countries, upon careful evaluation and consideration of membership, has opted out of the opportunity to enter such international agreements. The question that this paper addresses is how do countries decided whether to enter or not international organizations? In other words, what elements, processes, and motives lie behind the decision of countries to commit to a new membership?

Most of the studies that have addressed this topic have done so from an international perspective as they addressed the politics between countries, as well as the costs and benefits in terms of power, sovereignty, and national income once in the organizations. This paper, on the other hand, approaches the issue from a comparative perspective, both economic and political. It attempts to answer the research question by looking at the domestic sources of decision -making and how they influence this decision. Namely, a decision to become more open to trade has several implications for a country, depending on its size, and already established trade openness, among other factors. The impact of increased openness will most seriously affect the domestic players, both negatively and positively. Thus, in considering the impact that the policy could have on their welfare, players align their interests in order to express their preferences on the issue to the decision makers. The ability of the domestic actors to have their preferences considered in turn depends on the structure of the institutions through which they can participate in the political process i.e. how are their votes turned into seats, and who has most impact in the policymaking. Thus, depending on the impact of globalization on a country's domestic welfare, as well as the composition of the domestic players (export versus import intensive), the decision of the country on whether to participate or not will finally depend on the preference filtering mechanism given by the electoral and representative systems a country has. Thus, the decisions to join or not to will sometime reflect a special interest, while at other times it will be the result of an agreement reached by all of the existing groups.

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  • May 2003

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  • Feb. 15, 2008, 2:34 p.m.

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  • Dec. 15, 2008, 10:20 a.m.

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Radin, Dagmar. The Domestic Politics of Entering International Communities: An Exploratory Analysis, thesis, May 2003; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4186/: accessed November 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .