Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 28
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Frieden, Jeffry 2016. The Governance of International Finance. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 19, Issue. 1, p. 33.

    Wright, Sue Sheedy, Elizabeth Magee, Shane and Smith, Tom 2016. International compliance with new Basel Accord principles for risk governance. Accounting & Finance,

    Fernández-Albertos, José 2015. The Politics of Central Bank Independence. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 18, Issue. 1, p. 217.

    Greenwood, Justin and Roederer-Rynning, Christilla 2015. The “Europeanization” of the Basel process: Financial harmonization between globalization and parliamentarization. Regulation & Governance, Vol. 9, Issue. 4, p. 325.

    Hall, Steven R. 2015. Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    Kleibl, Johannes 2015. Coercion and the Global Spread of Securities Regulation. International Interactions, Vol. 41, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    Quaglia, Lucia 2015. The Politics of ‘Third Country Equivalence’ in Post-Crisis Financial Services Regulation in the European Union. West European Politics, Vol. 38, Issue. 1, p. 167.

    Bach, David and Newman, Abraham 2014. Domestic drivers of transgovernmental regulatory cooperation. Regulation & Governance, Vol. 8, Issue. 4, p. 395.

    Kindred Winecoff, W. 2014. Bank Regulation, Macroeconomic Management, and Monetary Incentives in OECD Economies. International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 58, Issue. 3, p. 448.

    Quaglia, Lucia 2014. The European Union, the USA and International Standard Setting by Regulatory Fora in Finance. New Political Economy, Vol. 19, Issue. 3, p. 427.

    Sennholz-Weinhardt, Barbara 2014. Regulatory competition as a social fact: Constructing and contesting the threat of hedge fund managers’ relocation from Britain. Review of International Political Economy, Vol. 21, Issue. 6, p. 1240.

    Spendzharova, Aneta B. 2014. Banking union under construction: The impact of foreign ownership and domestic bank internationalization on European Union member-states’ regulatory preferences in banking supervision. Review of International Political Economy, Vol. 21, Issue. 4, p. 949.

    Bengtsson,, Elias 2013. The Political Economy of Banking Regulation – Does the Basel 3 Accord Imply a Change?. Credit and Capital Markets – Kredit und Kapital, Vol. 46, Issue. 3, p. 303.

    Rixen, Thomas 2013. Why reregulation after the crisis is feeble: Shadow banking, offshore financial centers, and jurisdictional competition. Regulation & Governance, Vol. 7, Issue. 4, p. 435.

    Major, Aaron 2012. Neoliberalism and the new international financial architecture. Review of International Political Economy, Vol. 19, Issue. 4, p. 536.

    Young, Kevin L. 2012. Transnational regulatory capture? An empirical examination of the transnational lobbying of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Review of International Political Economy, Vol. 19, Issue. 4, p. 663.

    Mügge, Daniel 2011. The European presence in global financial governance: a principal–agent perspective. Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 18, Issue. 3, p. 383.

    BACH, DAVID 2010. Varieties of cooperation: the domestic institutional roots of global governance. Review of International Studies, Vol. 36, Issue. 03, p. 561.

    Farrell, Henry and Newman, Abraham L. 2010. Making global markets: Historical institutionalism in international political economy. Review of International Political Economy, Vol. 17, Issue. 4, p. 609.

    Mosley, Layna 2010. Regulating globally, implementing locally: The financial codes and standards effort. Review of International Political Economy, Vol. 17, Issue. 4, p. 724.


Capital Rules: The Domestic Politics of International Regulatory Harmonization

  • David Andrew Singer (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 July 2004

In the past fifteen years, financial regulators from the developed world have attempted to create international regulatory standards in a variety of financial issue areas. Their negotiations are notable for the stark variation in the preferences of regulators toward international regulatory harmonization. Certain regulators actively resist any attempts at regulatory harmonization, while others are vocal in their advocacy for an international agreement. When will regulators seek to harmonize their rules with their foreign counterparts? I propose a principal-agent framework for analyzing regulator behavior that views international harmonization as a means of satisfying domestic political pressures. The framework predicts that regulators are more likely to seek international regulatory harmonization when confidence in the stability of financial institutions is declining, and when competitive pressures are increasing from foreign firms facing less stringent regulations. I explore the consistency of the framework with two important cases in the history of international financial regulation: the negotiations among bank regulators leading up to the 1988 Basel Accord on bank capital adequacy, and the negotiations among securities regulators over capital adequacy for securities firms between 1988 and 1992.I thank Gabe Aguilera, David Bach, Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, Dan Carpenter, Bill Clark, Mark Copelovitch, Jeff Frieden, Dan Gingerich, Dan Ho, Devesh Kapur, Joseph N. R. Sanberg, Ross Schaap, Allan Stam, Matt Stephenson, two anonymous reviewers, and the editors of IO for helpful comments, discussions, and feedback. I am also indebted to the thirty current and former regulators and financial industry executives who participated in interviews to advance this project. Finally, I thank the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and the Center for European Studies for research funding.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Organization
  • ISSN: 0020-8183
  • EISSN: 1531-5088
  • URL: /core/journals/international-organization
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *