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Public commitment strategies in intergovernmental negotiations on the EU Constitutional Treaty

Dorussen, H and Lenz, H and Ward, H (2007) 'Public commitment strategies in intergovernmental negotiations on the EU Constitutional Treaty.' The Review of International Organizations, 2 (2). pp. 131-152. ISSN 1559-7431

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We analyze the impact of public commitment strategies as bargaining tools in the negotiations on the EU Constitutional Treaty using a sequential-bargaining model with incomplete information. The analysis suggests selection bias in observable public commitments with respect to the kind of issues that are publicly challenged as well as the kind of governments that will ?go public?. Public commitments are more likely under high uncertainty over audience costs. Further, the effect of public commitments on the duration and outcome of negotiation is conditional as well. In our empirical analysis, where we analyze the intergovernmental stage of the negotiations on the European Constitutional Treaty, we find strong empirical support for each of our theoretical predictions. Governments were most likely to commit publicly if they represented a domestic constituency that was negative about the EU Constitution and, at the same time, contained many undecided respondents. Moreover, these public commitments were generally quickly accommodated. In contrast, public commitments were less likely to lead to any changes if they were made by governments representing a domestic constituency that was relatively positive about the draft Constitution or negative and decided. In the latter case, however, public statements made bargaining deadlock more likely.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: European Union Constitutional treaty Public commitment Signaling games Domestic constraints
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2015 20:46
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 01:08

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