Global governance

I have string of research on how interconnectedness affects global governance. In my earliest piece in this vein (6), I examined the rise of an MFN treaty network in Europe in the 1860s. The paradigmatic explanation is that this network was a result of a top down process, where the hegemon (the UK) pushed other countries to open up their economies. I argue that the treaty network was the result of a bottom up process, where one treaty led to others, etc., resulting in a dramatically different equilibrium by the end of the 1860s than the beginning. What I have explored in recent years is policy interdependence, in particular, focused on regulatory policy. I have argued (1, 3, 4) that there are three modes of policy interdependence: competitive, coordinative, and informational. In the competitive mode, states use regulatory policy to differentiate themselves in competition with other states—e.g., for international capital. In the coordinative mode, states benefit by having the same standards as other states—e.g., to maintain access to foreign markets. Finally, in the informational mode (2), states are informationally interdependent, where the experiences of one country provide lessons for others.

(1) David Lazer,  "Global and Domestic Interdependence:  Modes of Interdependence in Regulatory Policymaking," European Law Journal 12, 2006.  (contact david_lazer(at) for a PDF or hardcopy of this this paper)

(2) David Lazer, "Regulatory Capitalism as a Networked Order: The International System as an Informational Network", Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 2005.

(3) David Lazer and Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, "Governing Networks", Brooklyn Journal of International Law, volume 27, number 3, 2002, 819-851.

(4) David Lazer, "Regulatory Interdependence and International Governance", Journal of European Public Policy, April 2001, 474-492.

(5) David Lazer and Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, "4 Blueprints for Change: Devolution and Subsidiarity in the United States and the European Union," in Kalypso Nicolaidis and Robert Howse (eds), The Federal Vision: Legitimacy and Levels of Governance in the US and the EU, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

(6) David Lazer, "The Free Trade Epidemic of the 1860s and Other Outbreaks of Economic Discrimination," World Politics, July 1999, 447-483.

**(For any of the above articles without a link, please email david_lazer(at) for a PDF or hardcopy)

Concept & Design © Alexander Schellong