“Poast and Urpelainen combine insights from comparative politics and international relations with their own cutting-edge research to show that international organizations are instrumental in cementing democracy by providing technical assistance and public goods, as well as a stepping stone to joining more ‘lucrative’ IOs. With clearly written explanations of complex arguments, their book will be a valuable addition to both fields and to practitioners engaged in democracy promotion, especially those who work for or with international organizations.”-- Yoram Haftel, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Paul Poast discusses "Organizing Democracy." He will be joined in conversation by John J. Mearsheimer. A Q/A and signing will follow the discussion.
At the Co-op
About the book: In the past twenty-five years, a number of countries have made the transition to democracy. The support of international organizations is essential to success on this difficult path. Yet, despite extensive research into the relationship between democratic transitions and membership in international organizations, the mechanisms underlying the relationship remain unclear.
With "Organizing Democracy," Paul Poast and Johannes Urpelainen argue that leaders of transitional democracies often have to draw on the support of international organizations to provide the public goods and expertise needed to consolidate democratic rule. Looking at the Baltic states' accession to NATO, Poast and Urpelainen provide a compelling and statistically rigorous account of the sorts of support transitional democracies draw from international institutions. They also show that, in many cases, the leaders of new democracies must actually create new international organizations to better serve their needs, since they may not qualify for help from existing ones.
About the author: Paul Poast is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago, where he is also a research affiliate of the Pearson Institute for the Study of Global Conflicts and a member of the Center for International Social Science Research advisory board. He studies international relations, with a focus on international security. He is the author of two books, "The Economics of War" (McGraw Hill-Irwin, 2006), which was translated into French, Japanese, and Chinese, and "Organizing Democracy" (University of Chicago Press, 2018), which is published in the Chicago Series on International and Domestic Institutions. He has authored or co-authored academic papers in journals such as International Organization, World Politics, Political analysis, the American Journal of Political Science, and the Journal of Conflict Resolution. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and featured in various news outlets, including The New York Times, Bloomberg, Washington Post, and CSPAN.
About the interlocutor: John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and codirector of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago.