The Soft Touch of IO Bureaucrats: A Public Choice View of International Regulation

31 Pages Posted: 16 May 2012

Date Written: May 16, 2012

Abstract

The crafting of new international regulatory directives is often done within international organizations (IOs). This paper shows how a public choice framework can explain this trend. Models of bureaucracy are presented against which the conditions and incentives of international bureaucrats are contrasted. Politicians can benefit from cooperation with international bureaucrats to promote their political agenda while the latter has the incentives to pursue new projects to further personal goals. By issuing regulations, international bureaucracy and politicians alike can advance their career. The increase of soft law regulations has a high potential of success in this regard, which is why the spread of international norms, codes and principles is likely to continue.

Keywords: International organizations, soft law, regulation, bureaucracy, public choice

JEL Classification: D23, D73, K29, P16

Suggested Citation

Moberg, Lotta, The Soft Touch of IO Bureaucrats: A Public Choice View of International Regulation (May 16, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2061338 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2061338

Lotta Moberg (Contact Author)

William Blair ( email )

Chicago, IL
United States
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