Ecology of Cross-Border Institutions: Towards a generalizable theory of institutional creation


Abigail M. York - Department of Public Affairs - University of Missouri - Kansas City   


Abstract: Interest in cross-border institutions has steadily grown with scholarly and governmental recognition of the wide array of policy issues requiring coordination across local, subnational, and national jurisdictional borders. Many scholars have focused on cross border conflict and cooperation, but much of the empirical and theoretical work has evaluated governments that are at the same level, i.e. local-local or national-national relationships. There are endless types of intergovernmental relationships between local, regional, state, national, and international governing bodies. The purposes of this talk are characterization of the cross-border action arena, creation of a cross-border institution typology, and development of testable propositions regarding conditions for cross-border institutional creation. I describe the general action arena using a two-stage coordination game that includes state and non-state actors. The typology explores commonalities and differences of cross-border institutions with different types of government actors. Brief case studies of cross-border institutions are used to illustrate the typology as well as discuss the propositions. Finally, I discuss an agenda for future research, which would enable construction of a generalizable theory about cross-border institution creation.