The new Comparative Political Studies is out, and I'd like to highlight a few articles (before I've read them) that might interest IPE@UNC readers. First, Kelemen and Vogel (earlier ungated draft here) argue that "regulatory politics" best explains the shifting positions of the US and EU on environmental regulatory policy. Abstract:
When environmental issues emerged on the international agenda in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the United States was of one of the strongest and most consistent supporters of international environmental treaties and agreements. The member states of the European Union subsequently ratified all the international treaties created in this period, but U.S. leadership was crucial and European states were laggards in many cases. Since the 1990s, the political dynamics of international environmental policy have shifted, with the European Union emerging as a global environmental leader and the United States repeatedly opposing multilateral environmental agreements. The authors argue that a "regulatory politics" model that synthesizes the effects of domestic politics and international regulatory competition provides the most powerful explanation of why the United States and European Union have "traded places" with respect to their support for international environmental agreements.
From-the-hip thought: I wonder if greater European integration over the past 40 years has increased the demand for provision of public goods in the EU states, especially since some nations will pay more for them than others.
Second, Levitz and Pop-Eleches have an article (ungated version here) on the (surprising?) lack of backsliding of new EU states. Abstract:
This article documents and explains the puzzling lack of backsliding in political reforms among the new postcommunist EU members, even though these countries are no longer subject to the powerful incentives of the EU membership promise. Using a combination of cross-national statistics, expert interviews, and public opinion data, the authors show that the new EU members have experienced at most a slowdown in reforms rather than a genuine backlash. The authors attribute this finding to the fact that the loss of leverage after the countries joined the European Union was balanced by a combination of alternative leverage and linkage mechanisms, including greater dependence on EU aid and trade and greater exposure to the West for both elites and ordinary citizens. For the latter, expanded work and travel opportunities seem to be associated with higher expectations of government performance and greater political involvement, which may be crucial for future governance reform in the region.