Institutional Proliferation and World Order: Is There Viscosity in Global Governance?

Daniel W. Drezner
Content Type
Working Paper
Centre for International Peace and Security Studies
In recent years there has been a proliferation of international rules, laws and institutional forms in world politics. This has triggered attention to the role that forum-shopping, nested and overlapping institutions, and regime complexes play in shaping the patterns of global governance. A few policymakers, some international relations scholars, and many international law scholars posit that this trend will lead to more rule-based outcomes in world politics. This paper suggests a contrary position: institutional thickness has a paradoxical effect on global governance. After a certain point, proliferation shifts global governance structures from rule-based outcomes to power-based outcomes–because institutional proliferation can enhance the ability of great powers to engage in forum-shopping.
International Relations, Globalization, Government, Health, Human Rights, International Law, Markets
Political Geography