Cascading Noncompliance: Why the Export Credit Regime is Unraveling

Jonas Bunte, Geoffrey Gerz, Alexandra O. Zeitz

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


How does international cooperation erode? Recent work has probed the demise of international institutions, but we know little about the process by which cooperation unravels. We develop a novel account of how cooperation falters in informal club regimes. We use it to explain the current unraveling of the international Arrangement on publicly backed export finance, which until recently had successfully tamed price competition between member countries for several decades. We show that the emergence of China as a major export credit power operating outside the regime helped catalyze this shift, but the story is more complicated. While initial defectors from the regime were those most exposed to Chinese export competition, subsequent defectors increasingly responded not just to China but also to the primary defectors. Thus, the key driver of unraveling cooperation in the regime is not the emergence of an external competitor per se, but the competitive pressures this shock unleashes within the agreement. By shifting attention from state-level rationales for (non)compliance to system-level competitive dynamics, our analysis has important implications for theoretical understanding of how international regimes erode.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 25
JournalReview of International Political Economy
Early online date26 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502027 Political economy

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