Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

Document Type



The main analytical concern of this project is to develop and use innovative theoretical and methodological tools to explain the compliance process in the European Union (EU). There are three major issues in the existing literature on EU compliance: lack of theoretical achievement, failure to adequately chart the domestic politics of EU compliance and underrealized potential of the Large-N Research design. This project addresses each of these issues. As far as the first and second issues are concerned, I identify the lack of a sustained dialogue with international relations and comparative politics as the main limitation of the existing literature. Based on this diagnosis, I develop the most systematic theoretical treatment to date of the domestic politics of EU compliance, which rely on insights drawn from various literatures in international relations and comparative politics. Developing a partisan approach to International compliance, which applies not only to the EU, but also all other instances of international regulatory regimes, I demonstrate that domestic contestations over compliance with international rules, being structured along different preferences toward the process and substance of international rule making and mediated through partisan politics, systematically affect the compliance patterns of the governments of the member states. The partisan approach yields two hypotheses, the process and substance, each of which concerns the impact of preferences toward the process and substance of the European rule making on the compliance patterns of member states. As far as the third issue is concerned, I employ the Large-N quantitative analysis to test empirical models based on the partisan approach. Relying on a data set of all infringement actions from 1995 to 2004, I test the process and substance hypotheses of the partisan approach in the context of the European Union through a series of empirical analyses. In the empirical analyses, I first examine the compliance patterns of member states across all policy areas, and then investigated compliance patterns in sub categories of EU policies, de-regulatory and re-regulatory policies. Different empirical models yield the same results that the party preferences of national governments have a systematic impact on their compliance patterns.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Leonard P. Ray