In game-theoretical terms, global models of governance reduce uncertainty and can improve policy coordination, bargaining and predictability. However, despite voluntary commitment to such agreements, certain states are tempted to defect and free ride. The current context of economic crisis and political instability calls for efficient models of global governance and regional coordination. The EU has become a regulatory state (Majone, 1996) and has developed an extensive set of functional institutional mechanisms to overcome temptations to defect. This research explores the role of a regional tier as established in the EU as an efficient model of governance to improve compliance. The EU regional tier is based on a model of delegation of enforcement power to supranational institutions, access for private actors to enforcement mechanisms and the application of international laws that are embedded in the rules of the regional organization. Through quantitative and qualitative research this project seeks to unfold the causal relationship between the regional tier model of governance and compliance with international agreements in the areas of economic policies and and human rights in the EU and abroad (Asia, Latin America, Africa). Functional institutional designs can improve compliance. The regional tier of governance is expected to lock member states into compliance with legislative agreements from which they cannot easily opt-out, whereas stand-alone states display more flexible patterns of compliance. Also, the regional tier of governance is expected to improve compliance with global rules as a side product of efficient and credible commitment at the regional level and potentially at the international level through soft power capacities and bilateral agreements. This projects will also lead to the creation of an international compliance index for researchers, private actors and policy-makers.
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