Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I even say who wrote them. If you have more recent summaries to add to this collection, send them my way I guess. Sorry for the ads; they cover the costs of keeping this online.
Rogowski. 1999. Institutions as constraints on strategic choice. In Strategic Choice and International Relations, eds Lake and Powell, pp 115-136.
Three domestic institutions matter (X): the franchise (size and membership), representation (number, method of election), and decision rules (number of veto points).
Perhaps the most important X is just principal-agent interactions (where the franchise is the principal and the representatives are the agents). Who are the principals [franchise]? How do they select agents [representation]? What can agents do [decision rules]?
These have implications for five areas of decision making relevant to IR: credibility of commitments, policy bias (i.e. policy preferences), coherence/stability of policy, mobilization and projection of power, and the strategic environment faced domestically by national leaders (i.e. how much can they get away with?).
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