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How did international economic regulation survive the last period of deglobalization?
Regulation & Governance  (IF5.4),  Pub Date : 2021-11-19, DOI: 10.1111/rego.12448
Perri 6, Eva Heims, Martha Prevezer

As trade wars and protectionism again present severe challenges and obstructions to international economic regulatory organizations (IEROs), it is timely to ask how their predecessors survived the last deep deglobalization of the interwar years. This article presents a fresh neo-Durkheimian institutional explanation. It highlights contrasting pathways to survival and bequest of IEROs in three fields of regulation – international infrastructure, capital and labor, and commodities. Our explanation shows that functional imperatives and short-term market pressures in these different areas of regulation facilitated specific forms of social organization within IEROs (such as hierarchy or individualistic brokering). These contrasting forms of social organization cultivated distinct regulatory styles during deglobalization and cultivated capacities for contrasting survival and bequest strategies. Our approach is thus able to account for variation in pathways to survival in a way that other possible explanations, such as theories of regulatory capture or bureaucratic autonomy, cannot.