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The Kyoto Protocol: Two-Level Bargaining and European Integration


  • The authors thank Detlef Sprinz, Aslaug Asgeirsdottir, the editor, and the anonymous referees for helpful comments; seminar participants at the Watson Center for Conflict and Cooperation at the University of Rochester and at the Institute for Sustainable Development of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China; and panelists at the 2005 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. Appendices A and B are attached to the replication data stored in the ISQ data archive.


McLean, Elena V. and Randall W. Stone. (2012) The Kyoto Protocol: Two-Level Bargaining and European Integration. International Studies Quarterly, doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2478.2011.00706.x
© 2012 International Studies Association

The politics of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol may suggest a two-level game; yet, our quantitative analysis shows that ratification constraints did not affect bargaining over the Protocol, nor did bargaining outcomes affect ratification. The politics of the Kyoto Protocol are best understood as an example of the ‘Europeanization’ of international politics: European countries subordinate their domestic politics to international cooperation, and the European Union emerges as a key agenda setter. We find that European countries ratified the Protocol in lock step and offered selective incentives—such as EU accession—to most of the participants. Case studies of Russia and Poland confirm our interpretation of the empirical findings.