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Institutionalisation of Political Parties: Comparative Cases. Edited by Robert Harmel and Lars G. Svasand

Peering at the Peers: How do Peer Reviews among States take Shape in Four International Organisations?

Presenter
Thomas Conzelmann
Maastricht Universiteit
Authors
Thomas Conzelmann
Maastricht Universiteit

Abstract
The paper offers a comparative study of the initial design and later development of peer reviews among states in four different international organizations (the European Union, the IMF, the OECD and the WTO). It empirically researches the way in which the respective IO members have shaped these peer reviewing procedures both through decisions on the ‘design’ of peer reviews and through their later interaction within the procedures. While all peer reviews researched in this article cover the area of macroeconomic policy coordination, they differ in terms of a) the size and heterogeneity of membership and b) the degree of legalization (Koremenos et al. 2001) that exists within the specific international organization. Peer reviews embedded in IOs characterized by a large and heterogeneous membership (IMF Article IV consultations and the WTO Trade Policy Review Mechanism) are contrasted with peer reviews in IOs with a smaller and more homogeneous membership (the OECD Economic and Development Review Committee and the EU Integrated Guidelines / Euro Plus Pact). Likewise organizations with a low degree of legalization (the IMF and the OECD) are contrasted with more strongly legalized ones (the WTO and the EU), yielding a 2x2 matrix which enables systematic comparison. By introducing variation on these two sets of independent variables, the proposed paper will be able to assess the extent to which these factors have a bearing on the development of institutional design and participant interaction in the four peer reviewing procedures over time. In doing so, the article critically engages with mainstream rational and other approaches to institutional formation and development, both by zooming in on the development of specific governance instruments within existing organizational environments and by exploring the way in which the shape of these governance instruments has been transformed by participant interaction over time.
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