Bargaining Power at Europe's Intergovernmental Conferences: Testing Institutional and Intergovernmental Theories

Slapin, Jonathan B.
January 2008
International Organization;Winter2008, Vol. 62 Issue 1, p131
Academic Journal
This article examines how European Union member states make choices about political institutions at intergovernmental conferences, the grand negotiations where many key institutional changes are made. Using data on member-state preferences from the intergovernmental conference leading to the Treaty of Amsterdam, I test competing bargaining theories, institutionalism, and intergovernmentalism, and present strong evidence that institulionalism better captures negotiations compared to intergovernmentalism. I present a formal model to discern between these competing theories of bargaining power, derive a statistical model directly from this formal model, and then use data from the European Union's Treaty of Amsterdam to test these theories and corresponding power sources. Veto power associated with institutional models better explains intergovernmental conference outcomes compared to power from size and economic might, often associated with intergovernmental analyses.


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