Despite sharing attributes that scholars argue promote international cooperation, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have few formal international agreements with each other. Does this absence of formal agreements imply a cooperation failure? We argue that absolute monarchies frequently cooperate with each other but do so informally. At the domestic level, absolute monarchs pursue their personal interests by unilaterally and nontransparently developing and implementing policies. These norms of domestic policymaking engender an absolutist logic, which shapes how absolute monarchs selectively use informal and formal cooperation at the international level. When cooperating with each other, absolute monarchs maximize mutual private benefits through similarly unilateral and nontransparent policymaking, producing secret, cartel-like informal agreements. Using the 10 Million International Dyadic Events data, we develop a data set of informal and formal cooperation from 1990 to 2004. We find that joint absolute monarchy dyads have higher levels of informal cooperation and lower levels of formal cooperation than joint democratic dyads and dyads of mixed regime types. We also draw on the Continent of International Law dataset to demonstrate that, when absolute monarchs enter into agreements with leaders of other regime types, they strategically accept the formal design mechanisms necessary for optimal cooperation. We assess the causal mechanisms underlying the absolutist logic through an in-depth case study of the informal, secret 2014 Riyadh agreements that outlined security cooperation between the Gulf monarchies.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Wealthy states (those ranked in the top 25% of GDP) on average participate in three times as many formal international agreements than do poor states (those ranked in the bottom 25% of GDP). This pattern is consistent across issue areas. See Koremenos (2017).
See Table 8 for a comprehensive comparison of the number of UNTS agreements each GCC state has with fellow members versus the number it has with all other states.
The other four public agreements are the Convention on the Implementation of Judicial Decisions, Awards, and Declarations; the Economic Agreement between Gulf Cooperation Council Countries; the Convention on the Conservation of Wildlife and Natural Habitats; and the Agreement Establishing the Monetary Union of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
For example, the delegated monitoring provisions that accompany formal treaties, like the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, are often key to their effectiveness.
The majority of agreements in the COIL dataset were signed between 1970 and 1999.
A notable exception is Kahler (2000), who traces variation in the legalization of regional institutions in the Asia-Pacific from their conception to the Asian economic crisis of 1997-1998. Specifically, Kahler (2000) examines changes in the precision of member states’ obligations, non-interference in member states’ domestic affairs, and the presence of third-party dispute resolution mechanisms.
Weeks (2008) makes a similar criticism. Both demonstrate that various types of autocracies, distinguished by the civilian or military nature of the leader and presence of veto players, influence conflict and cooperative behavior.
When the text of an agreement is public, that often implies the agreement is registered with an international or regional organization.
Formal agreements with informal elements foster a similar dynamic. The implicit, discretionary punishment mechanism in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty has been used to maximize the interests of the permanent members of the UN Security Council (Koremenos 2013a).
Extant scholarship indicates that domestic behavioral norms in particular regime types influence preferences for particular modes of international cooperation. For example, constitutive characteristics of democratic regimes, such as openness towards civil society, rule of law, accountability, and transparency, affect democracies’ preferences for openness towards transnational actors in international organizations (Tallberg et al. 2016).
Specifically, we conduct a two–sample, unpaired student t–test. This test assesses whether two subgroup means are equal.
Williams’ (2015) accountability transparency score ranges from 0 to 100. Absolute monarchies have a mean accountability transparency score of 24.47 (SE = 0.72), whereas personalist regimes have a mean score of 26.22 (SE = 0.43).
Specifically, Uzonyi et al. (2012) measure of ACC takes on four values, ranging from 0 (no audience cost capacity) to 3 (high audience cost capacity).
The Wilcoxon rank–sum test is a nonparametric hypothesis test that assesses whether the average ranks of two subgroups significantly differ from one another.
All absolute monarchies are coded as having no (i.e., zero) audience cost capacity. Conversely, 1.3% of personalist regimes are ranked as having medium audience cost capacity, 30.1% as having low audience cost capacity, and 68.6% as having zero audience cost capacity.
The appendix and replication data can be found on the Review of International Organization website.
When defining countries in the Middle East, we include all 22 Arab League members as well as Israel and Turkey.
We define a state as wealthy if they are in the top 25% of all countries in terms of their total GDP, drawing from the World Bank’s World Development Indicators.
This binary variable indicates whether both country regimes in a dyad have been stable (i.e., not experienced armed conflict) for at least 5 years based on POLITY IV durable variable.
This is a binary variable that indicates whether a dyad is part of the same alliance, drawing from the ATOP data set.
The COIL research agenda’s premise is that states choose particular design features because those provisions help them most effectively resolve the problems that arise when they attempt to cooperate.
For more information about how these interviews were conducted, see the appendix.
The percentage of informal events that occurred between joint absolute monarchy dyads substantially dropped in 1999 as well, indicating that there were lower levels of cooperation overall in this year. As mentioned previously, rivalries between Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar led these monarchs to boycott meetings, likely depressing overall levels of informal cooperation between absolute monarchs in 1999.
Our data set has a low number of joint absolute monarchy dyads for two reasons. First, the time period of events examined spans 1990 to 2004. This, coupled with the exclusion restrictions outlined in section 4.1, implies that the only absolute monarchies included are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Swaziland, and Brunei.
We specified a first-order autoregressive correlation matrix in our models. We use the GEE method because it estimates population-averaged (marginal) coefficients from correlated data, allowing us to compare changes in the mean levels of formal and informal cooperation across subpopulations like dyad types (Zorn 2001; Hardin and Hilbe 2003). Put differently, using a GEE model allows us to obtain the average effect of dyad type on informal cooperation (Zeger and Liang 1986). Previous scholarship that examines the effect of regime type on various types of international behavior has used this modeling technique (e.g., Oneal and Russett 2001; Mattes and Rodriguez 2014).
Because the events ‘Collaborate,’ ‘Mediate talks,’ ‘Agree to mediate,’ ‘Request to mediate,’ and ‘Promise to mediate,’ may indicate informal cooperation, we ran the same models above including these events in our measure of informal cooperation. The direction, magnitude, and significance of our coefficients are robust to these category changes.
For the measure of precise language, we draw from Koremenos (2016), who codes the precision of an agreement, namely the “degree of precision surrounding the main prescriptions, proscriptions, and/or authorizations embodied in an international agreement” (2016: 159). The precision variable is ordinal and takes four ascending values: (1) very vague; (2) somewhat vague; (3) somewhat precise; and (4) very precise.
For the measure of externally delegated dispute resolution, we draw from Koremenos (2016), who defines formal (i.e., delegated) dispute resolution mechanisms as those which stipulate third–party arbitration and/or adjudication with the third party being external to agreement membership as opposed to a subset of the member states (what Koremenos defines as internal delegation).
Our other regime binary variables are coded similarly. For example, our variable ‘Personalist Regimes’ codes whether at least one state signatory has a personalist regime.
Our results also call into question existing literature’s assertion that Islamic law states have a non–instrumental preference for less formalized dispute resolution and that Islamic law states tend to use informal design characteristics. It is important to note that, for absolute monarchies and states with Islamic legal systems, the Pearson’s correlation co-efficient is 0.35, indicating the weak correlation between the variables.
It is important to note that we include issue area dummies and use human rights as the baseline for issue area comparison (the excluded variable) because the COIL sample is random conditional on issue area. As such, the coefficients on the issue areas are relative to human rights agreements.
It is possible that we do not have enough power to statistically detect effects of substantively meaningful size.
We should note that the magnitude and lack of significance of the coefficients do not change when we run the model with unclustered robust standard errors. Our results also remain robust when we include Uncertainty about the State of the World and Uncertainty about Behavior, two cooperation problems that Koremenos (2016) includes in her analysis of delegated dispute resolution but for which she finds no theoretical justification and no statistical significance.
Several interviewees suggested that GCC member states sought cooperation in order to prevent domestic upheaval.
The 2010 Agreement Establishing the Monetary Union was only signed by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait.
For the complete list of GCC laws and regulations, see Table A.8 in the Appendix.
See Other Treaties and Protocols, EUR-Lex at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/collection/eu-law/treaties/treaties-other.html. Accessed on July 2, 2018.
See the Directory of EU Legislation, EUR-Lex at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/browse/directories/legislation.html?root_default = CC_1_CODED%3D03&displayProfile = allConsDocProfile&classification = in-force#arrow_03. Accessed on July 2, 2018.
Additionally, of the ten interviews conducted, all participants agreed that the six GCC member states cooperate at elite levels outside of the GCC bureaucracy.
Although many multilateral disarmament agreements are similarly vague because they delegate punishment authority to the UN Security Council (which may or may not decide to act), delegation to the UNSC is formal and public.
Entitled “Agreement between the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di–Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the Government of the Sultanate of Oman for air services between and beyond their respective territories,” this agreement was signed in 1988.
Abbott, K. W., Keohane, R. O., Moravcsik, A., Slaughter, A. M., & Snidal, D. (2000). The Concept of Legalization. International Organization, 54(3), 401–419.
Abbott, K. W., & Snidal, D. (2000). Hard and Soft Law in International Governance. International Organization, 54(3), 421–456.
Abuqudairi, Areej. (2014). Jordan Anti-Terrorism Law Sparks Concern. Al-Jazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/04/jordan-anti-terrorism-law-sparks-concern-201442510452221775.html. Accessed March 25, 2020.
Al-Buluwi, Abdulmajeed. (2014). Saudi Anti-Terrorism Law Casts Wide Net. Al-Monitor. https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/06/saudi-arabia-human-rights-activist-detained.html. Accessed March 25, 2020.
Aljadani, A., Mear, F., & Raimi, L. (2014). Strategically Using the Issue Affecting the Adoption of a Common Currency for Uniting and Developing the Arab Gulf Region. In Conference Proceeding presented at the World Finance Conference (pp. 2-4).
Al-Khalidi, Sulieman (2014). Jordan Arrests Deputy Head of Muslim Brotherhood for Criticizing UAE. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-jordan-islam-arrests/jordan-arrests-deputy-head-of-muslim-brotherhood-for-criticizing-uae-idUSKCN0J500120141121. Accessed March 25, 2020.
Madawi Al-Rasheed (2015). Kuwaiti Activists Targeted Under GCC Security Pact. Al-Monitor. https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/03/saudi-gcc-security-dissident-activism-detention-opposition.html. Accessed March 25, 2020.
Al-Quds Al-Arabi (2011). “Ijtimaa‘ wuzaraa’ khaarijiyyah duwwal majlis al-ta‘aawun al-khaliji wal-magrib wal-urdun al-ahad” Al–Quds Al-Arabi.
Anderson, L. (1991). Absolutism and the Resilience of Monarchy in the Middle East. Political Science Quarterly, 106(1), 1–15.
Aust, A. (1986). The Theory and Practice of Informal International Instruments. International & Comparative Law Quarterly, 35(4), 787–812.
Avant, D., & Westerwinter, O. (Eds.). (2016). The New Power Politics: Networks and Transnational Security Governance. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Awaya, Y., & Krishna, V. (2016). On Communication and Collusion. American Economic Review, 106(2), 285–315.
Axelrod, R., & Keohane, R. O. (1985). Achieving Cooperation under Anarchy: Strategies and Institutions. World Politics, 38, 226–254.
Bank, A, Richter, T., & Sunik, A. (2014). Durable, Yet Different: Monarchies in the Arab Spring. Journal of Arabian Studies, 4(2), 163–179.
Bank, A, Richter, T., & Sunik, A. (2015). Long-Term Monarchical Survival in the Middle East: A Configurational Comparison, 1945–2012. Democratization, 22(1), 179–200.
Barnett, M. N. (1996). Regional Security After the Gulf War. Political Science Quarterly, 111(4), 597–618.
Barnett, M., & Gause, F. G. (1998). Caravans in Opposite Directions: Society, State and the Development of a Community in the Gulf Cooperation Council. Cambridge Studies in International Relations, 62(1), 161–197.
Batrawy, Aya. (2018). King of Saudi Arabia Overhauls Cabinet Posts After Fallout From Khashoggi's Killing. The Times. http://time.com/5489095/saudi-arabia-cabinet-posts-khashoggi-murder/?utm_campaign=time&utm_medium=social&xid=time_socialflow_facebook&utm_source=facebook.com&fbclid=IwAR0fVx8w1R00aouWA1YfouF5BN6QuwG895QbOQKhunUpjeO12e5-FMrdxso
Beck, M. (2015). The End of Regional Middle Eastern Exceptionalism? The Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council after the Arab Uprisings. Democracy and Security, 11(2), 190–207.
Bellin, E. (2012). Reconsidering the Robustness of Authoritarianism in the Middle East: Lessons from the Arab Spring. Comparative Politics, 44(2), 127–149.
Bercovitch, J., & Fretter, J. (2004). Regional guide to international conflict and management from 1945 to 2003. CQ Press.
Berman, E., & Laitin, D. (2008). Religion, Terrorism, and Public Goods: Testing the Club Model. Journal of Public Economics, 92, 1942–1967.
Berman, E. (2009). Radical, Religious, and Violent: The New Economics of Terrorism. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Bond, D., Bond, J., Oh, C., Jenkins, J. C., & Taylor, C. L. (2003). Integrated Data for Events Analysis (IDEA): An Event Typology for Automated Events Data Development. Journal of Peace Research, 40(6), 733–745.
Bronner, Ethan & Slackman, Michael (2011). Saudi Troops Enter Bahrain to Help Put Down Unrest. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/world/middleeast/15bahrain.html
Brown, Gordan and Kenneth Katzman (2001). Gulf Cooperation Council Defense Agreement. Congressional Research Service. http://www.congressionalresearch.com/RS20831/document.php
Bruggeman, W. (2001). International Law Enforcement Cooperation: A Critical Assessment. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 9(3), 283–290.
Bueno De Mesquita, B., Morrow, J. D., Siverson, R. M., & Smith, A. (2004). Testing Novel Implications from the Selectorate Theory of War. World Politics, 56(3), 363–388.
Carnegie, A., & Carson, A. (2018). The Spotlight's Harsh Glare: Rethinking Publicity and International Order. International Organization, 1-31.
Carson, A. (2016) Facing Off and Saving Face: Covert Intervention and Escalation Management in the Korean War. International Organization, 70(1),103–131.
Chehabi, H. E., & Linz, J. J. (Eds.). (1998). Sultanistic Regimes. Baltimore, M: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Coe, A. J., & Vaynman, J. (2015). Collusion and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime. The Journal of Politics, 77(4), 983–997.
Colaresi, M. (2004a). When Doves Cry: International Rivalry, Unreciprocated Cooperation, and Leadership Turnover. American Journal of Political Science, 48(3), 555–570.
Colaresi, M. (2004b). Aftershocks: Postwar Leadership Survival, Rivalry, and Regime Dynamics. International Studies Quarterly, 48(4), 713–727.
Costa, D. L., & Kahn, M. E. (2007). Surviving Andersonville: The Benefits of Social Networks in POW Camps. American Economic Review, 97(4), 1467–1487.
Deeks, A. S. (2017). A (Qualified) Defense of Secret Agreements. Arizona State Law Journal, 49, 713.
Diamond, L., Plattner, M. F., & Walker, C. (Eds.). (2016). Authoritarianism Goes Global: The Challenge to Democracy. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Drezner, D. W. (2008). All Politics is Global: Explaining International Regulatory Regimes. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Europa Publications, Taylor & Francis Group. (2003). The Middle East and North Africa 2004 (50th ed.). London, UK: Psychology Press.
Ezrow, N. M., & Frantz, E. (2011). Dictators and Dictatorships: Understanding Authoritarian Regimes and their Leaders. New York, NY: The Continuum International Publishing Group.
Fordham, B. O. (2005). Strategic Conflict Avoidance and the Diversionary Use of Force. Journal of Politics, 67(1), 132–153.
Freedom House (2018). Freedom in the World 2018: Saudi Arabia Profile. Freedom House. https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2018/saudi-arabia
Geddes, B., Wright, J., & Frantz, E. (2014). Autocratic Breakdown and Regime Transitions: A New Data Set. Perspectives on Politics, 12(2), 313–331.
Genesove, D., & Mullin, W. P. (2001). Rules, Communication, and Collusion: Narrative Evidence from the Sugar Institute Case. American Economic Review, 91(3), 379–398.
Goldstein, J. S. (1992). A Conflict-Cooperation Scale for WEIS Events Data. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 36(2), 369–385.
Goldstein, J. L., Kahler, M., Keohane, R. O., & Slaughter, A.-M. (Eds.). (2000). Introduction: Legalization and World Politics. International Organization, 54(3), 385–399.
Green, E. J., Marshall, R. C., & Marx, L. M. (2014). Tacit Collusion in Oligopoly. The Oxford Handbook of International Antitrust Economics, 2, 464–497.
Griffin, James M. (2000). An Inside Look at a Cartel at Work: Common Characteristics of International Cartels. The United States Department of Justice. https://www.justice.gov/atr/speech/inside-look-cartel-work-common-characteristics-international-cartels
Guazzone, L. (1988). Gulf Co-operation Council: The Security Policies. Survival, 30(2), 134–148.
Gulf News Report (2016). “Kuwaiti MP gets 11 years in jail for offending Saudi Arabia” Gulf News Report. https://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/kuwait/kuwaiti-mp-gets-11-years-in-jail-for-offending-saudi-arabia-1.1869345
Hadenius, A., & Teorell, J. (2006) Authoritarian Regimes: Stability, Change, and Pathways do Democracy, 1973–2003. Kellogg Institute Working Paper #331.
Haimerl, M. (2013). In Search of Legitimacy in Times of Crisis: Governance Transfer by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Berlin Working Paper on European Integration No. 18. Centre for European Integration of the Otto Suhr Institute for Political Science. https://refubium.fu-berlin.de/bitstream/handle/fub188/18532/2013-18_Haimerl_In_Search_of_Legitimacy.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Hamid, S. (2011). From the Arab Spring Comes a More Unified Gulf Cooperation Council. Brookings Institution. https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/from-the-arab-spring-comes-a-more-unified-gulf-cooperation-council/. Accessed on March 27, 2020.
Hardin, J. W., & Hilbe, J. M. (2003). Generalized Estimating Equations. London, UK: Chapman & Hall/CRC.
Harrington, J. E. (2006). Behavioral Screening and the Detection of Cartels. European Competition Law Annual, 51–68.
Henderson, S. (2001). The Gulf Cooperation Council Defense Pact: An Exercise in Ambiguity. The Washington Institute, Policy #511. https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/the-gulf-cooperation-council-defense-pact-an-exercise-in-ambiguity
Henisz, W. (2006). The Political Constraint Index Dataset. Retrieved from https://mgmt.wharton.upenn.edu/profile/henisz/ on March 1, 2019.
Ben Hubbard, (2017). Saudi Arabia Agrees to Let Women Drive. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/26/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-women-drive.html
Human Rights Watch (2014). GCC: Joint Security Agreement Imperils Rights Vaguely Worded Provisions Endanger Free Expression, Privacy. Human Rights Watch. https://www.hrw.org/news/2014/04/26/gcc-joint-security-agreement-imperils-rights
Kahler, M. (2000). Legalization as Strategy: The Asia-Pacific Case. International Organization, 54(3), 549–571.
King, G., & Lowe, W. (2003). An Automated Information Extraction Tool for International Conflict Data with Performance as Good as Human Coders: A Rare Events Evaluation Design. International Organization, 57(3), 617–642.
Kinne, B. J. (2005). Decision Making in Autocratic Regimes: A Poliheuristic Perspective. International Studies Perspectives, 6(1), 114–128.
Kleine, M. (2014). Informal Governance in the European Union. Journal of European Public Policy, 21(2), 303–314.
Koremenos, B. (2017). When Rich States Make Fewer Agreements Than We Would Expect: Informal Cooperation or Failed Cooperation? Working paper.
Koremenos, B. (2016). The Continent of International Law: Explaining Agreement Design. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Koremenos, B. (2013a). What’s Left Out and Why? Informal Provisions in Formal International Law. The Review of International Organizations, 8(2), 137–162.
Koremenos, B. (2013b). The Continent of International Law. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 57(4), 652–680.
Koremenos, B. (2007). If Only Half of International Agreements Have Dispute Resolution Provisions, Which Half Needs Explaining? The Journal of Legal Studies, 36(1), 189.
Kreps, D. (1990). Microeconomic Theory. New York, NY: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Kurizaki, S. (2007). Efficient Secrecy: Public versus Private Threats in Crisis Diplomacy. American Political Science Review, 101(3), 543–558.
Laub, K. & Daraghmeh, M. (2015). Split of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood Blow to Regional Group. USA Today. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/03/16/jordan-muslim-brotherhood/24835363/
Lai, B., & Reiter, D. (2000). Democracy, Political Similarity, and International Alliances, 1816-1992. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 44(2), 203–227.
Leeds, B. A., Ritter, J., Mitchell, S., & Long, A. (2002). Alliance Treaty Obligations and Provisions, 1815-1944. International Interactions, 28(3), 237–260.
Leeds, B.A. (1999). Domestic Political Institutions, Credible Commitments, and International Cooperation. American Journal of Political Science, 979-1002.
Levenstein, M. C., & Suslow, V. Y. (2006). What Determines Cartel Success? Journal of Economic Literature, 44(1), 43–95.
Lindley, D. (2007). Promoting Peace with Information: Transparency as a Tool of Security Regimes. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Lipson, C. (1991). Why Are Some International Agreements Informal? International Organization, 45(4), 495–538.
Luomi, M. (2014). Mainstreaming Climate Policy in the Gulf Cooperation Council States. The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, OIES PAPER: MEP 7. https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/MEP-7.pdf
Mansfield, E. D., & Milner, H. V. (2012). Votes, Vetoes, and the Political Economy of International Trade Agreements. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Mansfield, E. D., Milner, H. V., & Rosendorff, B. P. (2002). Why Democracies Cooperate More: Electoral Control and International Trade Agreements. International Organization, 56(3), 477–513.
Marshall, M. G., Jaggers, K., & Gurr, T. R. (2010). Polity IV Project: Political Regime Characteristics and Transitions, 1800-2010. Center for Systemic Peace, 10, 24–37.
Marshall, R. C., & Marx, L. M. (2012). The Economics of Collusion: Cartels and Bidding Rings. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Mattes, M., & Rodriguez, M. (2014). Autocracies and International Cooperation. International Studies Quarterly, 58(3), 527–538.
Milgrom, P. R., North, D. C., & Weingast, B. R. (1990). The Role of Institutions in the Revival of Trade: The Law Merchant, Private Judges, and the Champagne Fairs. Economics and Politics, 2, 1–23.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. (2017). Saudi Arabia. Brunei Darussalam: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.mofat.gov.bn/Pages/br_saudiarabia.aspx.
Mitchell, S. M., & Powell, E. J. (2011). Domestic Law Goes Global: Legal Traditions and International Courts. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Munger, M. (2006). Preference Modification vs. Incentive Manipulation as Tools of Terrorist Recruitment: The Role of Culture. Public Choice, 128, 131–146.
Murdie, A. M., & Davis, D. R. (2012). Shaming and Blaming: Using Events Data to Assess the Impact of Human Rights INGOs. International Studies Quarterly, 56(1), 1–16.
Neyer, J., & Wolf, D. (2003). Horizontal enforcement in the EU: The BSE case and the case of state aid control. In B. Kohler-Koch (Ed.), Linking EU and National Governance (pp. 201–224). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Nuruzzaman, M. (2015). Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Qatar and Dispute Mediations: A Critical Investigation. Contemporary Arab Affairs, 8(4), 535–552.
Oneal, J. R., & Russett, B. (2001). Clear and Clean: The Fixed Effects of the Liberal Peace. International Organization, 55(2), 469–485.
Peceny, M., & Butler, C. K. (2004). The Conflict Behavior of Authoritarian Regimes. International Politics, 41(4), 565–581.
Pevehouse, J. C. (2004) Interdependence Theory and the Measurement of International Conflict. The Journal of Politics, 66(1), 247–266.
Pinfari, M. (2009). Nothing but Failure? The Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council as Mediators in Middle Eastern Conflicts. Crisis States Working Papers Series No.2. Crisis States Research Centre. ISSN 1749-1800.
Powell, E. J. (2015). Islamic Law States and Peaceful Resolution of Territorial Disputes. International Organization, 69(4), 777–807.
Powell, E. J., & Wiegand, K. E. (2010). Legal Systems and Peaceful Attempts to Resolve Territorial Disputes. Conflict Management and Peace Science, 27(2), 129–151.
Pressey, A. D., & Vanharanta, M. (2016). Dark Network Tensions and Illicit Forbearance: Exploring Paradox and Instability in Illegal Cartels. Industrial Marketing Management, 55, 35–49.
Ramesh, Randeep. (2017). The long-running family rivalries behind the Qatar crisis. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/21/qatar-crisis-may-be-rooted-in-old-family-rivalries. Accessed March 27, 2020.
Ratner, Steven. (2018). The Khashoggi Murder: How Mohammed Bin Salman Underestimated International Law. Lawfare. https://www.lawfareblog.com/khashoggi-murder-how-mohammed-bin-salman-underestimated-international-law. Accessed March 27, 2020.
Revesz, Rachel & Stevenson, Chris (2017). Saudi Arabia Lifts Ban on Women Driving. The Independent. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/saudi-arabia-women-drive-decree-a7968846.html. Accessed March 27, 2020.
Richards, T. J., Patterson, P. M., & Acharya, R. N. (2001). Price Behavior in a Dynamic Oligopsony: Washington Processing Potatoes. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 83(2), 259–271.
Ross, M. L., & Voeten, E. (2015). Oil and International Cooperation. International Studies Quarterly, 60(1), 85–97.
Schachter, O. (1977). The Twilight Existence of Nonbinding International Agreements. American Journal of International Law, 71(2), 296–304.
Schofield, R. (2011). The Crystallisation of a Complex Territorial Dispute: Britain and the Saudi-Abu Dhabi Borderland, 1966–71. Journal of Arabian Studies, 1(1), 27–51.
Sciutto, J. and Herb, J. (2017). Exclusive: The Secret Documents that Help Explain the Qatar Crisis. CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2017/07/10/politics/secret-documents-qatar-crisis-gulf-saudi/index.html
Simmons, B. A. (2009). Mobilizing for Human Rights: International Law in Domestic Politics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Skarbek, D. (2011). Governance and Prison Gangs. American Political Science Review, 105(4), 702–716.
Smith-Diwan, K. (2017). Qatar Crisis Stirs Islamic Debates. The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. http://www.agsiw.org/qatar-crisis-stirs-islamic-debates/
Snidal, D., & Thompson, A. (2003). International Commitments and Domestic Politics: Institutions and Actors at Two Levels. In D. W. Drezner (Ed.), Locating the Proper Authorities: The Interaction of Domestic and International Institutions (pp. 197–230). Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.
Stasavage, D. (2004). Open-door or Closed-door? Transparency in Domestic and International Bargaining. International Organization, 58(4), 667–703.
Stepan, A., Linz, J. J., & Minoves, J. F. (2014). Democratic Parliamentary Monarchies. Journal of Democracy, 25(2), 35–51.
Stone, R. W. (2011). Controlling Institutions: International organizations and the Global Economy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Stone, R. W. (2013). Informal Governance in International Organizations: Introduction to the Special Issue. Review of International Organizations, 8(2), 121–136.
Tallberg, J., Sommerer, T., Squatrito, T., & Lundgren, M. (2016). The Performance of International Organizations: A Policy Output Approach. Journal of European Public Policy, 23(7), 1077–1096.
Toumi, Habib (2012). GCC Ministers Sign Major Security Agreement. Gulf News. http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/gcc-ministers-sign-major-security-agreement-1.1104761
Tow, W. T. (1990). Subregional Security Cooperation in the Third World. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
Tripp, C. (1995). Regional Organizations in the Arab Middle East. In H. Fawcett (Ed.), Regionalism in World Politics: Regional Organization and International Order (pp. 283–308). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Tsebelis, G. (1995). Decision Making in Political systems: Veto Players in Presidentialism, Parliamentarism, Multicameralism and Multipartyism. British Journal of Political Science, 25(3), 289–325.
Tsebelis, G. (1999). Veto Players and Law Production in Parliamentary Democracies: An Empirical Analysis. American Political Science Review, 93(3), 591–608.
United Nations (1945). Charter of the United Nations, 1 UNTS XVI, http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-xvi/index.html
Uzonyi, G., Souva, M., & Golder, S. N. (2012). Domestic Institutions and Credible Signals. International Studies Quarterly, 56(4), 765–776.
Vabulas, F., & Snidal, D. (2013). Organization without Delegation: Informal Intergovernmental Organizations (IIGOs) and the Spectrum of Intergovernmental Arrangements. The Review of International Organizations, 8(2), 193–220.
Van den Bosch, J. (2015). Personalism: A Type or Characteristic of Authoritarian Regimes? Politologická Revue, 21(1), 11–30.
Weeks, J. L. (2008). Autocratic Audience Costs: Regime Type and Signaling Resolve. International Organization, 62(1), 35–64.
Weeks, J. L. (2012). Strongmen and Straw Men: Authoritarian Regimes and the Initiation of International Conflict. American Political Science Review, 106(2), 326–347.
Westerwinter, O. (2017). The Politics of Informal Governance. In Paper presented at the Politics of Informal Governance workshop, May 19–20. Geneva: Switzerland.
Westerwinter, O. (2013). Formal and Informal Governance in the UN Peacebuilding Commission. In A. P. Jakobi & K. D. Wolf (Eds.), The Transnational Governance of Violence and Crime (pp. 61–83). London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Westerwinter, O., Abbot, K., & Biersteker, T. (2018). Informal Governance in World Politics. Working Paper.
Williams, A. (2015). A Global Index of Information Transparency and Accountability. Journal of Comparative Economics, 43(3), 804–824.
Yom, Sean (2016a). Collaboration and Community Amongst the Arab Monarchies. Presented at the International Diffusion and Cooperation of Authoritarian Regimes workshop, June 8–9, 2016. https://pomeps.org/2016/07/15/collaboration-and-community-amongst-the-arab-monarchies/
Yom, Sean. (2016b). How Middle Eastern monarchies survived the Arab Spring. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/07/29/the-emerging-monarchies-club-in-the-middle-east/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ef8d3e853358
Zeger, S. L., & Liang, K. Y. (1986). Longitudinal Data Analysis for Discrete and Continuous Outcomes. Biometrics, 42(1), 121–130.
Zorn, C. J. (2001). Generalized Estimating Equation Models for Correlated Data: A Review with Applications. American Journal of Political Science, 45(2), 470–490.
We are very grateful to all those interviewed for this project. We thank Jonas Tallberg, Michael Mosser, Nicole Simonelli, Mark Dincecco, and workshop participants at the University of Michigan (CPRD), U.C. Berkeley (MIRTH), U.C.L.A. Law School, and the University of St. Gallen’s School of Economics and Politics for comments on earlier drafts. Jeff Smith kindly and expertly provided detailed and very helpful comments on our penultimate draft. Barbara Koremenos thanks the KROC Institute at the University of Notre Dame for fellowship support during the early stages of this project and Julia Gysel and Raya Saksouk for providing excellent research assistance. Finally, we thank the four anonymous reviewers for their careful reading and insightful feedback. This project has been approved through UC Berkeley IRB protocol 2017-10-10405.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Carlson, M., Koremenos, B. Cooperation Failure or Secret Collusion? Absolute Monarchs and Informal Cooperation. Rev Int Organ (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11558-020-09380-3
- International cooperation
- Informal cooperation
- Secrecy, Authoritarian regimes