Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Political Science

First Advisor

Timothy Nordstrom

Second Advisor

Kenneth Sufka

Third Advisor

Susan Allen

Relational Format



Building on work by Paul Poast and Johannes Urpelainen that suggests that democratizing states are more likely to form new international governmental organizations rather than join existing ones, I ask the question: how do these states design the organizations they form, and how do those design choices compare to the choices made by consolidated democracies and by nondemocracies? I focus on three design choices made by states regarding membership constraints, voting procedures, and dispute resolution processes. By comparing and analyzing founding charters, I find that democratizing states were more likely to constrain access to membership into these organizations to regional partners during the Cold War period. Regime type does not appear to drive choices relating to voting design or dispute resolution mechanisms, but states of each regime type are more likely to formalize dispute resolution procedures in economically oriented organizations.



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