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International Cooperation as Interagency Cooperation: Examples from Wildlife and Habitat Preservation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 December 2009

Robert Pahre
European Union Center, University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. E-mail:


Cooperation between two agencies presents much the same problem whether these agencies are found in different countries or in the same country. This similarity is generally overlooked because the issues over which agencies negotiate often differ—defense and trade policy at the international level, transportation or land use at the domestic level. Demonstrating the analytical similarity of international cooperation to domestic interagency cooperation requires holding issue area constant while allowing interstate and intrastate units to vary. To do this, I focus on cooperation over wildlife and habitat preservation at the domestic and international levels in the US and Canada. I explain this variation in cooperation in a simple theory in which agency goals and certain features of species interact. Variation between successful and unsuccessful cooperation in this issue area is governed solely by characteristics of the species and agency goals in each management unit, and does not depend on whether a problem is “international” or “domestic.” For scholars who think in terms of nation-states interacting in an anarchic international system, this points to a very different unit of analysis. For those who emphasize the domestic politics of international cooperation, this moves us away from executives constrained by legislatures to look at sub-units within each executive.

Research Article
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2009

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