An implicit assumption of most policy analysts and some academics is that globalization leads to a convergence of traditionally national policies governing environmental regulation, consumer health and safety, the regulation of labor, and the ability to tax capital. Some claim that globalization leads to a race to the bottom, where concerns about the regulatory standards are sacrificed on the altar of commerce. Others argue that the growth of transnational governance structures leads to a negotiated convergence of ample regulation. This essay reviews the arguments and evidence for how globalization affects the convergence of regulatory policies, in particular the setting of labor and environmental standards. It argues that the theories of policy convergence, which rely on structural factors to induce policy convergence, are largely unsupported by the empirical evidence. Theories that grant agents autonomous decisionmaking power perform better but remain underspecified. Ironically, the realist paradigm, which has generally denigrated the globalization phenomenon, could prove a fruitful source for theories of improved policy convergence.