In This Review

Locating the Proper Authorities: The Interaction of Domestic and International Institutions
Locating the Proper Authorities: The Interaction of Domestic and International Institutions
By Daniel W. Drezner
University of Michigan Press, 2003, 240 pp
Purchase

Government leaders frequently find their efforts at international collaboration blocked by domestic politics. But sometimes they turn the tables and use international organizations to resist interest groups and parliamentary opponents at home. This volume explores the ways that such institutions become useful domestic tools. John Pevenhouse, for example, shows how political leaders in newly democratizing countries use NATO or NAFTA to lock in political and economic reforms. Kenneth Schultz shows how the Clinton administration was able to use NATO to blunt congressional opposition to humanitarian intervention. Alastair Johnston offers a fascinating account of how China's membership in the Regional Forum of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the un has altered Beijing's views on security. The authors find some interesting patterns: democratic states tend to use international institutions to overcome domestic obstacles, whereas authoritarian states tend to use them to establish their credibility with other governments. Even as the institutional environment in which countries operate is getting denser, this book makes it clear that the distinction between domestic and international politics is becoming increasingly blurred.