Title

Theories of International Regimes

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-1987

Abstract

Over the last decade, international regimes have become a major focus of empirical research and theoretical debate within international relations. This article provides a critical review of this literature. We survey contending definitions of regimes and suggest dimensions along which regimes vary over time or across cases; these dimensions might be used to operationalize “regime change.” We then examine four approaches to regime analysis: structural, game-theoretic, functional, and cognitive. We conclude that the major shortcoming of the regimes literature is its failure to incorporate domestic politics adequately. We suggest a research program that begins with the central insights of the interdependence literature which have been ignored in the effort to construct “systemic” theory.

Publication Title

International Organization

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020818300027569

COinS