Christina J. Schneider and Robert Thomson. “Globalization and Promissory Representation” American Journal of Political Science (conditionally accepted).
This paper analyzes the effect of economic globalization on promissory democracy. We argue that globalization reduces governing parties’ ability to keep their campaign promises. International economic integration increases uncertainty about the feasibility of promises, imposes legal constraints in the form of international commitments that may impede promise keeping in unexpected ways, and empowers market actors that lobby governments when promises threaten their interests. We test the empirical implications of our theory with a mixed-methods approach that combines a large-n quantitative comparative analysis of pledge fulfillment with a typical case study to trace the underlying causal mechanisms of the theory. The findings indicate that international economic integration exerts a large negative effect on the likelihood of pledge fulfillment in a broad range of contexts and that the hypothesized mechanisms are clearly observable in the detailed case study. These findings have important implications for democratic representation in a globalized world.
Jennifer L. Tobin, Christina J. Schneider, and David Leblang. 2022. “Framing Unpopular Foreign Policies.” American Journal of Political Science 66(4): 947-960.
How can governments implement foreign economic policies that are popular amongst political elites but unpopular amongst their voters? Studying international financial rescues, we argue that governments strategically frame policies in an attempt to minimize their expected political costs, which increases their ability to implement those policies successfully. Governments often bail out countries that experience financial crises in order to protect their own economies. But bailouts are unpopular with voters. To minimize public opposition to bailouts, politicians highlight the potential costs for the domestic economy such as increased unemployment or immigration. In doing so, they hope to increase voters’ perceived benefits from bailouts, which minimizes public backlash. We theorize that framing strategies allow governments to offer bailouts and test the resulting hypotheses using an integrative mixed-methods approach. We trace the underlying causal mechanism of our argument with a representative case study of the U.S. bailout of Mexico during the 1995 Peso crisis, test whether a credible threat of migration increases the likelihood of bailouts using an original data set of bailouts by 36 OECD countries to 108 crisis countries over a time span of 40 years, and analyze the central assumption of our theory with a survey experiment on over 3,000 U.S. residents.
Nathan Mariano and Christina J. Schneider. 2022. “Euroscepticism and Bargaining Success in the European Union.” Journal of European Public Policy 29(1): 61-77.
This paper analyzes how domestic Euroscepticism affects the bargaining success of governments in European Union (EU) legislative negotiations. We argue that pro-European governments who face public Euroscepticism at home are more successful in the EU’s legislative negotiations. Pro-European governments can use the threat of domestic Euroscepticism to bargain for better outcomes in the Council’s informal negotiating environment, with the goal of mitigating electoral losses to Eurosceptic challengers, whereas Eurosceptic parties have fewer opportunities to use the Council’s informal culture to achieve their preferred outcomes. We test the empirical implications of our theory using the extended DEU data set on legislative negotiations from 1998-2019. The estimations of a multi-level mixed effects regression model provide support for our theory, showing that pro-European governments facing Eurosceptic publics achieve EU policies closer to their preferred outcomes than other types of governments do.
Lauren E. Ferry, Emilie Hafner-Burton, and Christina J. Schneider. 2020. “International Development Organizations and National Political Corruption.” The Review of International Organizations 15: 767-792.
Many international development organizations (IDOs) have officially mandated anti-corruption criteria for aid selectivity. Substantial debate remains over whether corruption deters aid and whether anti-corruption rules are effectively implemented. We argue that the extent to which both corruption and anti-corruption mandates factor into IDO allocation depends on the composition of the donors. Using existing data on corruption alongside newly collected data on anti-corruption mandates, we demonstrate that organizations composed of corrupt donors are just as likely to adopt, but much less likely to enforce, anti-corruption mandates. Organizations composed of less corrupt donors, by contrast, tend to divert aid away from corrupt states, with or without formal anti-corruption rules in place. The findings have implications for the debate over whether international efforts to institutionalize “good governance” standards are sincere or cheap talk, whether multilateral strategies are in fact less politicized than bilateral aid allocation strategies, and whether international organizations should be inclusive, open to membership by many or even all states, including those with dubious track records.
Christina J. Schneider and Jennifer L. Tobin. 2020. “The Political Economy of Bilateral Bailouts.” International Organization 74(1): 1-29.
IMF loans during times of financial crisis often occur in conjunction with bilateral financial rescues. These bilateral bailouts are substantial in size and a central component of international cooperation during financial crises. We analyze the political economy of bilateral bailouts and study the trade-offs that potential creditor governments experience when other countries find themselves in financial distress. Creditor governments want to stabilize crisis countries by providing additional liquidity, particularly if the crisis country is economically or politically important to them. But they are constrained by domestic politics. Politicians aim to balance these countervailing pressures. Whereas governments want to provide a bailout when their own economy is exposed to negative spillover effects and when the crisis country is important for geo-strategic, military, or political reasons, domestic economic and political constraints limit their ability to bail out other countries. We test our hypotheses using an original data set on bilateral bailouts by the G-7 countries to countries that experienced financial crises between 1970 and 2010. The findings of our statistical analysis support our theoretical argument and contribute to a deeper understanding of the complex structure of international cooperation during financial crises.
Christina J. Schneider. 2020. “Public Commitments as Signals of Responsiveness in the European Union.” The Journal of Politics 82(1): 329-344.
Intergovernmental organizations play a vital role in democracies. Observers have become increasingly concerned about the extent to which government behavior in these IOs is responsive to their national constituents, but they find it difficult to identify responsiveness in these complex and nontransparent environments. This paper analyzes how European governments use public commitments in Council negotiations to signal responsiveness to their national electorates when they cooperate in the European Union. I test the empirical implications of the theory using data on public commitments of 27 governments in European legislative negotiations and original data from a conjoint survey experiment in Germany. The findings suggest that European governments are more likely to defend positions that favor their domestic constituents when they face national elections. The results of an experiment with German citizens provides evidence that governments do so because voters respond favorably to public commitments, as long as these commitments are responsive to the respondent’s own position on the policy issue.
Christina J. Schneider. 2020. “Mind the Gap? Links Between Policy and Academic Research in Foreign Aid.” in Daniel Maliniak, Susan Peterson, Ryan Powers, and Michael Tierney (eds.) The Theory-Practice Divide in International Relations. Georgetown: Georgetown University Press.
This chapter analyzes the trends in the relationship between theory and practice in the issue area of foreign aid. I use the TRIPS Journal Article Database as well as the TRIPS Survey on Teaching International Relations to analyze the extent to which current trends in the academic literature on foreign aid – such as the increased use of quantitative and experimental methods – has led to a decreasing gap between the academic and policy world. I argue that the potential for a close relationship between academics and policy makers has always been greater than for many other issue areas, and both sides have shaped each other’s agendas, but the relationship has become closer over time. The trend in foreign aid results from (i) both academics and policy makers collecting and publishing data that is widely used and shared, (ii) the increasing utilization of similar research methodologies, and (iii) increasing opportunities for interactions (e.g. several conferences with participants from both policy and academic circles take place on a regular basis, academics increasingly use opportunities to consult for foreign aid agencies, and policy makers in foreign aid agencies have opportunities to present their work at political science departments). Whereas opportunities are abound, the paper will also address some of the major obstacles, which contribute to the existing gap, and discuss to what extent these obstacles can be overcome. Most importantly, I argue that some of the practical challenges faced by policy makers in the field are not taken into account in academic research, and therefore have smaller chances to be useful in development policy. Aside from analyzing these opportunities and challenges from a general historical perspective, I will use specific research studies to provide more in-depth illustration of my arguments.
Emilie M. Hafner-Burton and Christina J. Schneider. 2020. “Donor Rules or Donors Rule? International Organizations and Political Corruption.” American Journal of International Law Unbound 113: 346-350.
Meijers, Maurits J., Christina J. Schneider, and Asya Zhelyazkova. 2020. “Mapping Channels of Responsiveness in the European Union: Actors, Publics, Venues.”Journal of European Public Policy 26(11): 1724-1736.
The European Union (EU) is an unlikely case for responsive policy-making. Yet, in recent years scholars have found that the EU’s overall decision-making output is correlated with the average preferences of the European citizens toward European integration. Despite recognizing the value of this systemic approach, we argue in this contribution that studies of EU responsiveness should explicitly acknowledge the multi-dimensionality of responsiveness in the EU by addressing the multiplicity of actors, institutions and publics involved. This actor-oriented perspective directs the focus of responsiveness research to the input stage of EU policy-making. This contribution calls for research that a) theoretically situates the responsiveness of actors in specific institutional venues in a broader perspective of multi-dimensional EU responsiveness and that b) empirically links different forms of input responsiveness to one another and to policy outputs.
Emilie M. Hafner-Burton and Christina J. Schneider. 2019. The Company You Keep: International Organizations and the Reputational Effects of Membership. American Journal of International Law Unbound 113: 242-246. [Link to Symposium]
Our contribution to this symposium speaks to the origins of international organization (IO) reputation. The one explored by Daugirdas is agency slack: when people delegated power and authority within an organization—in her example, UN peacekeepers and their surrounding bureaucracy—abuse their privilege and stain the institution’s character. We explore another that can spark similar reactions and consequences, but which emanates from the behavior of the principals themselves (rather than their agents): the member states. The company an IO keeps—how members behave—can bolster or stain the organization’s reputation. That in turn can have consequences, especially for organizations seeking to provide a venue for members to make credible commitments.
Emilie Hafner-Burton and Christina J. Schneider. 2019. “The Dark Side of Cooperation: International Organizations and National Corruption.” International Studies Quarterly 63(4): 1108–1121.
Political corruption is rampant in—and destructive to—many parts of the world. A growing number of international organizations (IOs) aim to address the problem by encouraging good governance norms, rules and practices among their member states. Whether membership in IOs actually dampens national corruption, however, is unclear. Our central argument is that the characteristics of IO membership determine both whether corruption is tolerated or spreads through a country’s network of organizational affiliations and the extent to which the adoption of formal anti-corruption mandates is effective to combat the problem. IOs can facilitate the spread of corruption in two ways. First, groups of corrupted states are reticent to create, monitor or enforce good governance standards against other IO members, rendering punishment for corruption incredible. Second, leaders may witness the value of corruption to their IO peers and learn to act the same way. Using a variety of data sources and estimation strategies, including new data on IO anti-corruption mandates, we demonstrate that countries that participate in a network of member-corrupted IOs are significantly more likely to experience an increase in corruption domestically than are countries that participate in a network of more honest brokers, and this increase occurs even within IOs that have adopted formal anti-corruption mandates, rendering good governance rules cheap talk.
Christina J. Schneider. 2019. Euroscepticism and Government Accountability in the European Union. The Review of International Organizations 14(2): 2017-238.
The European Union has become a contested issue amongst voters in Europe. This paper analyzes how the increasingly salient attitudes toward European integration have affected how voters hold their governments accountable for their policy decisions at the EU-level. I argue that attitudes toward the EU have become an important source of electoral accountability complementing attitudes on the left-right dimension, but that they matter differently for pro- and anti-European voters. Whereas electoral accountability on the European integration dimension is mainly driven by Eurosceptic voters, pro-European voters are more likely to rely on their specific attitudes toward particular policies to assess the responsiveness of their politicians. The paper present the results of a conjoint survey experiment with over 2,500 citizens in Germany, which analyzes how pro- and anti-European voters’ attitudes influence their assessment of typical signals of government responsiveness.
Katharina Michaelowa, Bernhard Reinsberg, and Christina J. Schneider. 2018. “The Politics of Double Delegation in the European Union.” International Studies Quarterly 62(4): 821-833. [Replication Package] [Online Appendix]
Many international organizations channel financial contributions of their member countries through other international organizations to implement their programs and activities. In this context, the second step of the delegation chain is often costly and—at least seemingly—an easily avoidable duplication of a previous one. We examine the puzzling phenomenon of double delegation in the context of European aid. We argue that governments engage in double delegation in order to strengthen the role of the European Union (EU) as a multilateral donor agency. This leads to an increase in the flow of resources that, at times, exceeds what the Commission can effectively handle alone. Delegating aid to other organizations helps the Commission solve this capacity problem, but it also reduces its control over how the resources are spent. Consequently, the Commission must exercise judgment about which projects it delegates to other international organizations. Our quantitative and qualitative evidence shows that double delegation is more likely where the Commission’s capacity as an aid donor is low and where EU members have no strategic interests at stake. We also show that the Commission tries to mitigate the loss of control by earmarking the delegated aid projects more tightly, notably when member preferences are heterogeneous. The results provide a new way of thinking about international delegation and bureaucratic politics in international organizations. Delegation problems may occur even if the interests between the principal and the agent align. Our approach highlights why this happens and how actors try to minimize the costs of this understudied type of agency slippage.
Christina J. Schneider. 2018.“The Domestic Politics of International Cooperation.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics.
How does domestic politics affect international cooperation? Even though classic work on international relations already acknowledges the central role of domestic politics in international relations, the first generation of scholarly work on international cooperation focused almost exclusively on the international sources of cooperation. Theories that explicitly link domestic politics and international cooperation did not take a more prominent place in the scholarly work on international cooperation until the late 1980s. Recent research analyzes how interests and institutions at the domestic level affect the cooperation of governments at the international level. The analysis is structured along a political economy model, which emphasizes the decision making calculus of office- motivated political leaders who find themselves under pressure by different societal groups interested in promoting or hindering international cooperation. These pressures are conveyed, constrained, and calibrated by domestic institutions, which provide an important context for policy making, and in particular for the choice to cooperate at the international level. This standard political economy model of domestic politics is embedded within models of international cooperation, which entail decisions by governments about (a) whether to cooperate (and to comply with international agreements), (b) how to distribute the gains and costs from cooperation, (c) and how to design cooperation as to maximize the likelihood that the public good will be provided.
Christina J. Schneider and Branislav L. Slantchev. 2018. “The Domestic Politics of International Cooperation: Germany and the European Debt Crisis.” International Organization Vol. 72, No.1, pp.1-31. [Online Appendix]
International cooperation can fail even though governments have no distributional conflicts or incentives to free-ride, face no informational or credibility problems, and even agree on the policies that need to be implemented. Germany’s refusal to cooperate with the Eurogroup members on the Greek bailout in 2010 until the crisis threatened to derail the entire Eurozone is puzzling in that regard especially because Germany is the main beneficiary of the euro. It was alleged at the time that this was a dilatory tactic designed to postpone a domestically unpopular decision until after crucial regional elections. But why would voters allow themselves to be misled like that? And why did Merkel agree to the bailout before the elections took place? To analyze how citizen preferences affect international cooperation, we develop a game-theoretic model of the four-way interaction between two governments that must coordinate a response to a crisis affecting both countries but who also must face the polls domestically with an electorate that might be uncertain whether a response is necessary. We find that, paradoxically, governments that stand to receive the greatest benefits from international cooperation face the greatest obstacles to implementing the required policies even when voters would want them to. We show how the model can rationalize Merkel’s electoral strategy and why her party suffered at the polls when the strategy went off the rails.
Cesi Cruz and Christina J. Schneider. 2017. “Foreign Aid and the Politics of Undeserved Credit Claiming.” American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 61, No. 2, pp. 396-408. [Replication Package] [Online Appendix][Monkey Cage Blog Post]
Politicians in developing countries misuse foreign aid to get reelected by fiscally manipulating foreign aid resources or domestic budgets. Our article suggests another mechanism that does not require politicians to have any control over foreign aid in order to make use of it for electoral purposes: undeserved credit claiming. We analyze the conditions under which local politicians can undeservedly take credit for the receipt of foreign aid and thereby boost their chances of reelection. We theorize that politicians can employ a variety of techniques to claim credit for development aid even when they have little or no influence on its actual allocation. Using a subnational World Bank development program in the Philippines, we demonstrate that credit claiming is an important strategy to exploit foreign aid inflows and that the political effects of aid can persist even when projects are designed to minimize the diversion or misuse of funds.
Katharina Michaelowa, Bernhard Reinsberg, and Christina J. Schneider. 2017. “Multi-bi Aid in European Development Assistance: The Role of Capacity Constraints and Member State Politics.” Development Policy Review 35(4): 513-530.
We analyse the patterns of multi-bi aid in the European Union. Using newly available multi-bi aid data and a large number of staff interviews at the European Commission, the World Bank and bilateral donors, we draw three conclusions. First, the Commission’s capacity constraints and lack of specific expertise have prevented it from becoming an important host of trust funds like other international development organizations. Second, the same capacity constraints can generally explain its extensive participation in trust funds at other international development organizations. In the case of large global funds, however, Commission participation often reflects the outcome of member state politics. Third, once the Commission delegates its aid to multilateral agencies, it does not impose strong substantive earmarking, but requires a high level of legal and administrative controls.
Christina J. Schneider. 2017. “The Political Economy of Regional Integration.” Annual Review of Political Science 20: 229-248.
This article reviews and analyzes recent research on regional integration. The review is structured along a political economy framework and proceeds in three steps. After analyzing the development of regional integration agreements (RIAs) from a historical perspective, I first discuss regional integration as a consequence of the decision-making calculus of office-motivated political leaders who find themselves under pressure from different societal groups interested in promoting or hindering regional integration. These pressures are conveyed, constrained, and calibrated by domestic institutions, which provide an important context for policy making, and in particular for the choice to enter RIAs. The analysis also highlights the importance of international pressures for regional integration. Second, I summarize the determinants and consequences of variations in regional institutional design. Third, I analyze the normative and strategic consequences of regional integration. The article concludes by outlining opportunities for future research, with emphasis on the domestic politics of regional integration, the causes and consequences of institutional design beyond trade agreements, and the consequences of the increasing number of often overlapping regional agreements.
Christina J. Schneider and Jennifer L. Tobin. 2016. “Portfolio Similarity and International Development Organizations.” International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 60, No. 4, pp. 647-664. [Replication Package] [Online Appendix]
How do governments distribute their foreign aid resources across international development organizations (IDO)? We argue that governments’ distributional choices across IDOs derive from their attempt to minimize the costs of delegation and to pursue their own interests in foreign aid policy. Governments make decisions about the allocation of resources across a large number of IDOs, and they delegate their scarce aid resources to IDOs that pursue development policies in line with their own foreign development interests. We use data on the financial contributions of 22 OECD governments to 12 IDOs from 1970 to 2008 to test our argument. We find strong support for our claims. Governments regularly contribute to a large number of IDOs, and they tend to delegate more resources to IDOs that provide higher levels of portfolio similarity. The findings suggest that governments can benefit from the increasing complexity of the system of international organizations. It allows them to minimize the loss of control they experience when delegating sovereignty to international organizations.
Christina J. Schneider and Johannes Urpelainen. 2014. “Partisan Heterogeneity and International Cooperation. The Case of the European Development Fund.” Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 58, No. 1, pp. 120-142. [Replication Package]
This article analyzes the relationship between partisan heterogeneity and cooperation in international organizations. We argue that partisan heterogeneity increases distributional conflict among states during intergovernmental negotiations, thereby increasing the costs of cooperation. This decreases governments’ willingness to contribute to cooperative efforts. We test the theory against data on governments’ financial contributions to the European Development Fund. The empirical analyses robustly demonstrate that partisan heterogeneity reduces governments’ incentives to contribute to European cooperation on international development. On a more general level, we offer new perspective on the role of domestic politics in international cooperation.
Christina J. Schneider. 2014. “Domestic Politics and the Widening-Deepening Trade Off in the European Union.” Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 21, No. 5, pp. 699-712. [Replication Package]
This contribution analyzes the relationship between European Union (EU) enlargement, preference heterogeneity of EU members and co-operation in the EU. I argue that the widening of the EU does not invariably present an obstacle to cooperation. Preference heterogeneity in the Council is not only affected by the accession of new member states, but it also fluctuates over time owing to changes in the domestic political arena. In European countries, governmental coalitions have changed frequently, with important consequences for the ability of EU members to negotiate deeper integration. To test the theoretical hypotheses, I analyze to what extent the changing bargaining dynamics in the Council owing to domestic political circumstances, as compared to the accession of new member states itself, have affected the cooperation between EU member states over time.
Christina J. Schneider. 2013. “Globalizing Electoral Politics: Political Competence and Distributional Bargaining in the European Union.” World Politics, Vol. 65, No. 3, pp. 452-490. [Replication Package] [Online Appendix]
This article analyzes electoral cycles in distributional bargaining in the European Union. The author argues that governments attempt to increase their EU membership benefits above average levels in the preelection period, hoping to appear politically competent to voters. The theory discusses when and how EU members can increase these gains before elections through negotiations in the Council of Ministers. A time-series cross-sectional analysis of EU member states’ annual budget negotiations from 1977 to 2006 supports the existence of conditional electoral cycles in distributional bargaining and generally points to the importance of accounting for such cycles when analyzing patterns of international cooperation.
Christina J. Schneider and Johannes Urpelainen. “Distributional Conflict Between Powerful States and International Treaty Ratification.” International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 57, No. 1, pp. 13-27. [Replication Package]
Why do states ratify international treaties? While previous research has emphasized domestic political factors, we focus on power politics in situations in which powerful states disagree on the merits of a treaty. We argue that states supporting the status quo should discourage third parties from ratifying the treaty, whereas challenger states should entice them to do so. Based on this theory, we expect third parties’ ratification decisions to be influenced by their dependence on the conflicting states. To test the theory, we use data on the conflict between the United States and the European Union over the regulation of trade in genetically modified organisms. The European Union created a new treaty, the Cartagena Protocol, to enhance biosafety regulation and propagate the ‘‘precautionary principle’’ over the ‘‘sound science principle’’ defended by the United States. Our quantitative analysis shows that ratification decisions of third parties were influenced by relations to and dependence on the clashing giants.
Christina J. Schneider and Jennifer L. Tobin. 2013. “Interest Coalitions and Multilateral Aid Allocation in the European Union.” International Studies Quarterly Vol. 57, No. 1, pp. 103-114.
This paper analyzes multilateral aid allocation in the European Union (EU). We argue that EU members can influence the aid allocation process toward their national interests if they form powerful coalitions that bias the European Commission’s development policies. When EU members’ preferences over aid allocation are heterogeneous, the Commission can implement multilateral aid according to its programmatic goals. Greater homogeneity of EU members’ goals, however, increases the likelihood that members can form powerful interest coalitions and induce the Commission to allocate aid according to their own national interests. The empirical analysis provides robust support for our theoretical argument, and the findings generally indicate that interest coalitions play an important role in multilateral aid allocation.
Christina J. Schneider and Branislav Slantchev. 2013. “Abiding by the Vote: Between-Groups Conflict in International Collective Action.” International Organization, Vol. 67, No. 4, pp. 759-796.
We analyze institutional solutions to international cooperation when actors have heterogeneous preferences over the desirability of the action and split into supporters and opponents, all of whom can spend resources toward their preferred outcome. We study how actors can communicate their preferences throughvoting when they are not bound either by their own vote or the outcome of the col- lective vote. We identify two organizational types with endogenous coercive enforcement and find that neither is unambiguously preferable. Like the solutions to the traditional Prisoners’ Dilemma these forms require long shadows of the future to sustain. We then show that cooperation can be sustained through a noncoercive organization where actors delegate execution to an agent. Even though this institution is costlier, it does not require any expertise by the agent and is independent of the shadow of the future, and thus is implementable when the others are not.
Erik Gartzke and Christina J. Schneider. 2013. “Datasets and Quantitative Research on Intergovernmental Organizations.” Routledge Handbook of International Organization, Milton Park: Routledge, pp. 41-53.
Christina J. Schneider and Johannes Urpelainen. 2012. “Accession Rules for International Institutions: A Legitimacy-Efficacy Tradeoff?” Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 56, No. 2, pp. 290-312.
Powerful states often accept unanimity voting on accession to international institutions, even though this enables weak states to blackmail powerful states into providing costly side payments. Whereas the literature attributes this choice mainly to efforts to bolster the legitimacy of international institutions, the authors demonstrate that the choice of unanimity also has a strategic component. The authors formally show that unanimous accession rules can profit powerful states by creating uncertainty as to the minimal level of reform that enables accession. If accession is valuable enough and the membership candidate is uncertain about the resolve of weak states, it plays safe by implementing ambitious reforms that improve the efficacy of the international institution. In this case, a legitimacy-efficacy trade-off does not exist: the unanimity rule enhances legitimacy while allowing powerful states to induce significant reforms by applicants to the benefit of current members.
Christina J. Schneider. 2011. “Weak States and Institutionalized Bargaining Power in International Organizations.” International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 2, pp. 331-355. [Replication Package]
When and how can weak states increase their bargaining leverage in international organizations? I argue that during phases of routine bargaining, distributional outcomes depend on the states’ political and economic leverage and less on the formal allocation rules, so they are unfavorable to weak states. This changes in phases of extraordinary bargaining, which are occasioned by significant reform such as enlargement. States that expect distributional conflict from enlargement can threaten to block accession negotiations and increase their membership benefits even if they are politically weak. Statistical and qualitative analyses of distributional bargaining in the European Union support the theoretical claims.
Christina J. Schneider. 2010. “Fighting with one Hand Tied behind the Back: Political Budget Cycles in the West German States.” Public Choice, Vol. 142, No. 1, pp. 125-150. [Replication Package] [Online Appendix]
Theories of political budget cycles have been contested because scholars find that incumbents can manipulate deficits in the pre-election period only if fiscal transparency is low. I argue that these findings do not generally rule out the possibility of fiscal electioneering. Governments may increase spending on highly visible policies. The composition of the budget serves as a second-best strategy. It increases political support without straining the budget balance. An empirical analysis of the West German states reveals alternative electoral budget strategies and ultimately point to the importance of analyzing how governments choose between alternative fiscal instruments.
Thomas Pluemper and Christina J. Schneider. 2009. “The Calculus of Convergence, or: How to chase a Black Cat in a Dark Room.” Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 16, No. 7, pp. 990-1011.
Political science research on policy convergence has largely remained inconclusive. While many studies found support for the convergence hypothesis, an almost equally large number of studies rejected it. Convergence thus could be a less general phenomenon than many theorists believe. This article identifies a second possible explanation. The variance approach, which dominates political science research on policy convergence, is likely to lead to wrong inferences. Analysing various artificially generated convergence processes, we find that neither the variance approach nor the coefficient of variation detects convergence when it is conditional or when theoretically unidentified convergence clubs exist. Our analysis suggests that researchers should estimate rather than measure convergence. By estimating convergence researchers may (a) test the causal relationship, (b) account for conditional convergence, (c) control for the existence of convergence clubs, and (d) examine convergence to an equilibrium level of a policy.
Christina J. Schneider. 2007. “Differenzierte Mitgliedschaft und die EU-Osterweiterung: Das Beispiel der Arbeitnehmerfreizuegigkeit.” (Differentiated Membership and EU Eastern Enlargement: Free Movement of Workers). Swiss Political Science Review, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 67-99.
Die Arbeit untersucht die Auswirkungen der Vergabe eingeschränkter Mitgliedschaftsrechte auf den Verlauf und die Ergebnisse der EU-Osterweiterung. Die Studie zeigt auf, dass die EU-Mitgliedstaaten Übergangsfristen für die Liberalisierung der Arbeitsmärkte durchsetzten, um die zu erwartenden Erweiterungsgewinne zugunsten der, von der Freizügigkeit negativ betroffenen Altmitglieder – Deutschland, Österreich und Italien – umzuverteilen und so ein Scheitern der Aufnahmeverhandlungen zu verhindern. Die Diskussionen der EU-Mitglieder über die Einführung einer eingeschränkten Arbeitnehmerfreizügigkeit für die Neumitglieder und ein Überblick über andere Verhandlungskapitel legen nahe, dass die Verteilung differenzierter Mitgliedschaftsrechte an neue Mitglieder eine bedeutsame Handlungsalternative insbesondere zur Nichtmitgliedschaft darstellt.
Christina J. Schneider. 2007. “Enlargement Processes and Distributional Conflicts: The Politics of Discriminatory Membership in the European Union.” Public Choice, Vol. 132, No. 1-2, pp. 85-102.
This paper examines discriminatory membership in the European Union from a game-theoretical perspective. I argue that discriminatory membership enables the enlargement of international organizations with heterogenous member states. EU members impose discriminatory measures on new members to redistribute enlargement gains from new members to particularly negatively affected EU members as to render expansion pareto-efficient. The empirical findings of a probit analysis on the EU accession negotiations and outcomes of all five EU enlargement rounds support the theoretical claim. The EU grants acceding states restricted membership rights if distributional conflicts emerge. Moreover, the candidate’s bargaining power and the possibility of alternative compensation schemes influence the enlargement outcomes.
Thomas Pluemper and Christina J. Schneider. 2007. “Discriminatory EU Membership and the Redistribution of Enlargement Gains.” Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 51, No. 4, pp. 568-587, 2007. [Replication Package]
Conflicts between European Union (EU) members about enlargement result from its redistributive effects. EU members are more likely to suffer from enlargement if they profit from EU transfers and if they are relatively close to applicant countries in which unemployment is significantly higher than in member countries. Phasing in membership rights serves to compensate the relative losers of enlargement to accomplish EU widening. Using data from all previous enlargement rounds until 2004, we demonstrate that EU members are more likely to demand a discrimination of new members if distributional conflicts arise. The existence of these distributional conflicts in turn increases the odds of EU members and the accession candidates actually agreeing on a phase-in period.
Christina J. Schneider. 2007. “Politischer Opportunismus und Haushaltsdefizite in den westdeutschen Bundeslaendern.” (Political Opportunism and Budget Deficits in the West German States.) Politische Vierteljahresschrift, Vol. 48, No. 2, pp. 221-242.
In diesem Beitrag werden fiskalpolitische Konjunkturzyklen in den westdeutschen Bundesländern untersucht. Es wird argumentiert, dass Regierungen bei der Manipulation des fiskalpolitischen Konjunkturzyklus keineswegs auf defizit-finanzierte Wahlgeschenke zurückgreifen, um den Wählern wirtschaftspolitische Kompetenz zu signalisieren. Eine Verknüpfung der Theorie des politischen Konjunkturzyklus mit der Theorie des „Economic Voting“ zeigt, dass Wähler Regierungen abstrafen, wenn diese die Staatsverschuldung strategisch steigern. Eine vergleichende Analyse der westdeutschen Bundesländer für die Jahre 1970 bis 2003 unterstützt diese Theorie und belegt, dass regierende Parteien dazu tendieren, ihr Haushaltsdefizit vor den Wahlen zu senken, um Popularitätsverlusten vorzubeugen. Fiskalpolitische Konjunkturzyklen können demnach nur dann generiert werden, wenn diese keine Neuverschuldung nach sich ziehen.
Thomas Pluemper and Christina J. Schneider. 2007. “Too Much to Die, Too Little to Live: Unemployment, Higher Education Policies and University Budgets in Germany.” Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 632-654, 2007.
German educational spending per student has dramatically declined since the early 1970s. In this paper, we develop a theory of fiscal opportunism and argue that state governments exploit higher educational policies as an instrument of active labour market policy. By ‘opening’ universities to the masses and the extensive propagation of broader university enrolment during times of economic distress, state governments have an instrument at their disposal for lowering unemployment without generating negative budgetary implications. Thereby, the government pockets voter support not only by diminishing unemployment, but also by providing public goods particularly to the socially disadvantaged. At the same time, the state government risks a deterioration of educational quality owing to decreasing educational spending per student. We test our theoretical claims for the German states in a period ranging from 1975 to 2000 by means of panel fixed-effects models. The empirical results robustly support the hypothesis that rising unemployment ratios lead to increased university enrollment, but also significantly reduce the spending per student.
Thomas Pluemper, Christina J. Schneider, and Vera E. Troeger. 2006. “The Politics of EU Eastern Enlargement: Evidence from a Heckman Selection Model.” British Journal of Political Science, Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 17-38, 2006. [Replication Package]
The eastern enlargement of the European Union is a twofold process, in which governments of transition countries decide whether or not to apply for membership and in turn EU members decide whether or not to accept these applicants. The authors argue that the level of democracy and the extent of market reforms together determine the first decision, while the second decision is largely determined by the EU observing the reform process in applicant countries imposed by the acquis communautaire conditionality. The natural procedure to test this theory is a Heckman selection model. A Heckman specification with panel probit estimators in both stages is used. The data supports the argument that uncontested reforms signal the policy support of relevant political parties to the EU and increase the likelihood of joining the Union. The authors also test for specification errors and check the robustness of the findings.
Controlling the EU Executive? The Politics of Delegation in the European Union, by Gijs Jan Brandsma and Jens Blom-Hansen. Oxford University Press, 2017. Review of International Organizations (03/2018).