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Political leadership and regime formation: on the development of institutions in international society

  • Oran R. Young (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 May 2009

Leadership plays a critical but poorly understood role in determining the success or failure of the processes of institutional bargaining that dominate efforts to form international regimes or, more generally, institutional arrangements in international society. An examination of the nature of institutional bargaining serves as a springboard both for pinpointing the role of leadership in regime formation and for differentiating three forms of leadership that regularly come into play in efforts to establish international institutions: structural leadership, entrepreneurial leadership, and intellectual leadership. Because much of the real work of regime formation occurs in the interplay of different types of leadership, the study of interactions among individual leaders is a high priority for those seeking to illuminate the processes involved in the creation of international institutions. Not only does such a study help to explain the conditions under which regimes form or fail to form, but it also provides an opportunity to bring the individual back in to an important area of international affairs.

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Hedley Bull , The Anarchical Society: A Study of Order in World Politics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977)

Ian Clark , The Hierarchy of States: Reform and Resistance in the International Order (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989)

Oran R. Young , “The Politics of International Regime Formation: Managing Natural Resources and the Environment,” International Organization 43 (Summer1989), pp. 349–75

James K. Sebenius , “Negotiation Arithmetic: Adding and Subtracting Issues and Parties,” International Organization 37 (Spring1983), pp. 281316

Robert D. Putnam , “Diplomacy and Domestic Politics: The Logic of Two-Level Games,” International Organization 42 (Summer1988), pp. 427–60

Duncan Snidal , “The Limits of Hegemonic Stability Theory,” International Organization 39 (Autumn1985), pp. 579614

Isabelle Grunberg , “Exploring the ‘Myth’ of Hegemonic Stability,” International Organization 44 (Autumn1990), pp. 431–77

M. J. Peterson , Managing the Frozen South (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), chap. 5

Richard H. Ullman , “Redefining Security,” International Security 8 (Summer1983), pp. 130–53

Jessica Tuchman Mathews , “Redefining Security,” Foreign Affairs 68 (Spring1989), pp. 162–77

Judith Goldstein , “Ideas, Institutions, and Trade Policy,” International Organization 42 (Winter1988), pp. 179217

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International Organization
  • ISSN: 0020-8183
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