The Review of International Organizations

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 387–431 | Cite as

Conditionality, compliance, and domestic interests: State capture and EU accession policy

  • James R. HollyerEmail author


States and international organizations often attempt to influence the behavior of a target government by employing conditionality—i.e., they condition the provision of some set of benefits on changes in the target’s policies. Conditionality may give rise to a commitment problem: once the proffered benefits are granted, the target’s incentive for continued compliance declines. In this paper, I document a mechanism by which conditionality may induce compliance even after these benefits are distributed. If conditionality alters the composition of domestic interest groups in the target state, it may induce permanent changes in the target government’s behavior. I construct a dynamic model of lobbying that demonstrates that conditionality can reduce long-term levels of state capture. And I test the model’s predictions using data from the accession of Eastern European countries to the EU.


Conditionality Compliance European Union Lobbying Domestic interests 

JEL Codes

F53 P37 P33 

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wilf Family Department of PoliticsNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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