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ECPR Standing Group on the European Union 10th Biennial Conference LUISS, Rome

Dispute Bodies with Teeth: An Exploration of the Sources of Authoritative Dispute Settlement in International Organisations

Jeanine Bezuijen
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Jeanine Bezuijen
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
liesbet Hooghe
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Delegation of authority to a third-party dispute settlement body is a core building bloc of international governance, but little is known about variation in form and incidence. So when do states consent to authoritative dispute settlement, and what exactly do they consent to? This paper introduces newly generated data that a) unpack dispute settlement b) in 72 IOs and c) track their evolution over time. We show that there is not one, but several types of dispute settlement—clusters of components—that tend to be associated with types of international organization. We find that policy scope, cooperation problem, community, power asymmetry, and diffusion get us a long way in explaining variation in type and authoritative depth cross-sectionally as well as over time. The world of dispute settlement is rich and diverse, but intelligibly structured.
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