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Beyond conditionality: international institutions in postcommunist Europe after enlargement

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According to the dominant incentive-based explanation, European Union (EU) conditionality has been particularly effective when the EU offered a credible membership incentive and when incumbent governments did not consider the domestic costs of compliance threatening to their hold on power. However, after the EU's eastern enlargement the influence of international institutions could then be expected to decrease in three different contexts: (i) the new member states after accession; (ii) the current candidate countries; and (iii) the postcommunist countries in the European neighbourhood policy. Yet although the incentive-based explanation receives support in some issue areas, in others, external influence is more enduring than predicted. To the extent that our understanding of the power of incentives is complicated by post-enlargement findings, there are new avenues for research into the full range of mechanisms that international institutions have at their disposal for influencing target states.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/21732/

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