International Cooperation
INTS 401a
Fall 2006
James Raymond Vreeland

Students visiting this page for the first time should read through the entire syllabus: the course description, the course requirements, and the course outline. Beyond this initial reading, this web-based syllabus is designed to be used throughout the semester. Below you will find links to the assignments for each class session. Where possible, reading assignments have been linked to electronic versions available on the Internet. Other readings can be found under the "Materials" section of the Yale "classes" server. You will also find many other useful items on the Yale classes server, such as class notes and data. If you have any questions or comments about the web page or the course, please contact me.

[ Course description ]   [ Requirements ]   [ Course Outline ]   [ Contact Instructor ]

Important Dates:
Sept. 19: Research question due
Oct. 24: Outline of research project due
Dec. 8: Draft of paper due


Course description
This year long senior seminar is the capstone of the International Studies Major. Students are expected to apply the skills and substantive knowledge they have acquired from the required courses of the major to do research on a question pertaining to international studies. The skills include the ability to do research in foreign languages, formal analytical tools from micro and macroeconomics, and statistical analysis.

This is a research-oriented seminar. It assumes that you have background and interest in a topic in international studies. The purpose of this course is to teach you how to conduct research in your area of interest. Thus, you should come to this class with a research question. This course provides the opportunity of in depth research on your question – with the assistance of your colleagues in the class.

The substantive topic for this senior seminar is international cooperation. This course addresses why governments enter into international arrangements and with what effects. We will study the effects of these arrangements on measures of material well-being such as economic growth and the environment. We will also look at the effect of international arrangements on measures of stability such as regime transition.

How does one assess the effectiveness of international arrangements? The answer eludes straightforward observation. What one observes in the world are not random experiments. Governments enter into international agreements under certain conditions. Outcomes are the result of both the effects of international arrangements and of these conditions. One must be able to identify what part of the outcome should be attributed to selection and what part to performance.

Hence, before answering questions about the effects of international agreements, we must first address the question of why governments enter into these agreements in the first place.

While the questions of selection and performance are interconnected and we will address both in this course, students may prefer to focus on a selection question (why governments enter into international arrangements) or focus on a performance question (what are the effects of international arrangements) for their research project. Projects may be broadly theoretical, or narrowly descriptive (or anything in between). Substantively, students may choose to focus on any number of different international arrangements (e.g., IMF or World Bank arrangements, alliances or treaties, or trade agreements such as the WTO). With permission, students may also pursue a research topic outside of the area of international arrangements, provided it fits within the broader framework of international studies.
We will approach research questions from 3 methodological perspectives:

(1) formal theory (2) large-n empirical work (3) case study empirical work.

•    Students who have taken some game theory or formal modeling are encouraged to try their hand at formal approaches to research questions. (Recall what you learned in Econ 115 & 116.)

•    Students who have statistical training are encouraged to do large-n empirical work. Data will be made available to the class. (Recall what you learned in Stat 102.)

•    Students who prefer case study work should choose their cases analytically by considering different “types” of cases that a question identifies. Once the “type” of case is identified, the student can refer to data to learn which country exemplifies the type the student wishes to explore. (Here your linguistic skills can be used. Group courses also may be helpful.)

•    Students interested in a particular country or region must also reference the larger database to gain an understanding of where their particular case lies in the broader distribution of cases. Such students should use the data set to identify other cases similar to the one that interests them, as well as counterfactual cases. (Language skills and Group courses.)



In addition to class reading, you must do reading on your own every week or spend time working with the data set. Each week, we will take time in class for students to update the class on their progress. You will report what you have read or worked on during the past week, and you will be graded for this. Below you will see suggestions of what to do for your “mini-presentations.” These are simply guidelines. You should pursue the research as you see fit, as long as you are making progress each week. NOTE YOUR WEEKLY PROGRESS COUNTS MORE THAN THE DRAFT OF THE PAPER AT THE END OF THE SEMESTER.


Course Outline
Week 1 (9/12/06): Introduction

•    Start with a RESEARCH QUESTION
•    Review the literature
•    Propose an answer to your question
•    Find the data
•    Selection analytically significant cases
•    Analysis of data
•    Draw conclusions

How do we select case studies?
Vreeland, James Raymond. 2003. Why do governments and the IMF enter into agreements: Statistically selected case studies. International Political Science Review: Special Issue on The Political Economy of International Finance 24(3): 321-343.

ASSIGNMENT: Choose an analytically significant case with respect to your research question. Explain why it is signficant.


Week 2 (9/19/06): The selection problem in international relations

Downs, George, David Rock, Peter Barsoom. 1996. “Is the good news about compliance good news about cooperation?” International Organization 50: 379-406.

Vreeland, James Raymond. Forthcoming. The IMF and Economic Development. In William Easterly (ed.), Reinventing Foreign Aid. Cambridge: MIT Press and Center for Global Development.
(available on class server)

Geddes, Barbara. 1990. “How the Cases You Choose Affect the Answers You Get: Selection Bias in Comparative Politics.” Political Analysis 2. Pages 131-152.

ASSIGNMENT: In your research, do you face a selection problem? What are the potential determinants of selection?


Week 3 (9/26/06): Why do governments enter into international arrangements?

Moravcsik, Andrew. 2000. The Origins of Human Rights Regimes: Democratic Delegation in Postwar Europe. International Organization 54: 217-52.

Mansfield, Edward D., Helen V. Milner, and B. Peter Rosendorff. 2002. Why Democracies Cooperate More: Electoral Control and International Trade Agreements. International Organization 56: 477–513.

Finnemore, Martha and Kathryn Sikkink. 1998. International Norm Dynamics and Political Change. International Organization 52: 887–917

Hawkins, Darren and Jay Michael Goodliffe. 2006. Explaining Commitment: States and the Convention against Torture. Journal of Politics 68 (2): 358-371.

Raustiala, Kal. Form and Substance in International Agreements. The American Journal of International Law Vol. 99, No. 3 (Jul., 2005), pp. 581-614.


Week 4 (10/3/06): Stata session on entering into international arrangements

CAT Selection: Why Governments enter into the UN Convention Against Torture.

The Institutional Determinants of IMF Programs.

The International and Domestic Politics of IMF Programs.

ASSIGNMENT: Following on the assignment from Week 2, test whether there is indeed a correlation between the variable(s) you proposed and selection.


Week 5 (10/10/06): Foreign Aid

William Easterly. Debt Relief. Foreign Policy, No. 127. (Nov. - Dec., 2001), pp. 20-26.

William Easterly. Can Foreign Aid Buy Growth? The Journal of Economic Perspectives Vol. 17, No. 3 (Summer, 2003), pp. 23-48.

Karen L. Remmer. Does Foreign Aid Promote the Expansion of Government? American Journal of Political Science Vol. 48, No. 1 (Jan., 2004), pp. 77-92.

Alesina, Alberto and David Dollar. Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why? Journal of Economic Growth, 5 (March 2000): 33–63.

Alberto Alesina and Beatrice Weder. Do Corrupt Governments Receive Less Foreign Aid? The American Economic Review Vol. 92, No. 4 (Sep., 2002), pp. 1126-1137.

Suggested background: Diamond, Jared. 1999. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.


Week 6 (10/17/06): Stata session on the effects of international arrangements


Week 7 (10/24/06):International cooperation and human rights

Hathaway, Oona A. 2003. The Cost of Commitment. Stanford Law Review 55: 1821-62.

Hafner-Burton, Emilie. 2005. Trading Human Rights: How Preferential Trade Agreements Influence Government Repression.” International Organization 59(3): 593-629.

CIRI Human Rights Data Project

Abouharb, M. Rodwan, and David Cingranelli. 2006. “The Human Rights Effects of World Bank Structural Adjustment Lending, 1981-2000.” International Studies Quarterly (June) 50: 233-262.

Hathaway, Oona. 2002. Do Human Rights Treaties Make a Difference? The Yale Law Journal 111: 1935-2042.


Week 8 (10/31/06): United Nations Security Council

Kuziemko, Ilyana and Eric Werker. 2005. How Much is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations. Forthcoming at Journal of Political Economy. Available on classes server.

Luck, Edward C. 2005. Reforming the Security Council-Step One: Improving Working Methods. This background paper was prepared at the request of the Swiss Government and its Permanent Mission to the United Nations for discussions with Member States.

Luck, Edward C. 2006. The UN Security Council: Practice & Promise. New York: Routledge.

Malone, David M. (2000) Eyes on the Prize: The Quest for Nonpermanent Seats on the U.N. Security Council. Global Governance. 6 (1), Jan-Mar 2000: 3-24.

Voeten, Eric. Why no UN Security Council Reform?: Lessons for and from Institutionalist Theory.

Kim, Soo Yeon and Bruce Russett. The New Politics of Voting Alignments in the United Nations General Assembly. International Organization, Vol. 50, No. 4. (Autumn, 1996), pp. 629-652.


Week 9 (11/7/06): Nuclear Proliferation

Kroenig, Matthew: The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Customer: Why States Provide Sensitive Nuclear Assistance.

Jo, Dong Joon & Eric Gartzke. Determinants of Nuclear Weapons Proliferation: A Quantitative Model.

Way, Christopher and Karthika Sasikumar. Leaders and Laggards: When and Why do Countries Sign the NPT?

Chafetz, Glenn. The Political Psychology of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime. The Journal of Politics Vol. 57, No. 3 (Aug., 1995), pp. 743-775.


Week 10 (11/14/06): Democracy, Development, and Diffusion

Pevehouse Jon C. 2002a. With a Little Help from My Friends? Regional Organizations and the Consolidation of Democracy.” American Journal of Political Science 46: 611-26.

Pevehouse, Jon C. 2002b. Democracy from the Outside-In? International Organizations and Democratization. International Organization 56: 515–549.

Przeworski, Adam and Fernando Limongi. 1997. “Modernization: Theories and Facts.” World Politics 49. Pages 155-183.

Ward, Michael D., John O'Loughlin, Jordin S. Cohen, Kristian S. Gleditsch, David S. Brown, David A. Reilly, Corey L. Lofdahl, & Michael E. Shin. 1998. The Diffusion of Democracy, 1946-1994. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 88: 545-74.

Simmons, Beth and Zachary Elkins. 2004.The Globalization of Liberalization: Policy Diffusion in the International Political Economy. American Political Science Review 98 (1): 171-189.


Week 11 (11/28/06): The IMF and the World Bank

Vreeland, James Raymond. 2007. The International Monetary Fund: Politics of Conditional Lending. New York: Routledge.

Easterly, William. 2002. The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Stiglitz, Joseph E. 2002. Globalization and Its Discontents. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.


Week 12 (12/5/06): Setting the research agenda for next semester and review


Professor Vreeland's Contact Information:

James Raymond Vreeland
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
tel: 203-432-6220

Office location: 124 Prospect Street (Brewster Hall) - Room 305. For directions, use this link.

Office hours: Tuesdays 10am-12pm *By appointment only - see the sign up sheet on my office door*