Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

The Rational Design of International Institutions

Abstract

Why do international institutions vary so widely in terms of such key institutional features as membership, scope, and flexibility? We argue that international actors are goal-seeking agents who make specific institutional design choices to solve the particular cooperation problems they face in different issue-areas. In this article we introduce the theoretical framework of the Rational Design project. We identify five important features of institutions—membership, scope, centralization, control, and flexibility—and explain their variation in terms of four independent variables that characterize different cooperation problems: distribution, number of actors, enforcement, and uncertainty. We draw on rational choice theory to develop a series of empirically falsifiable conjectures that explain this institutional variation. The authors of the articles in this special issue of International Organization evaluate the conjectures in specific issue-areas and the overall Rational Design approach.

Copyright
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? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 913 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 2475 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 19th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.