Intergovernmental Organizations

IGO Membership and the Non-Democratic State

What incentives do non-democracies and autocracies have to seek out, maintain, and establish membership in international governmental organizations (IGOs)? Despite the democratizing effects of IGOs, non-democracies are often active members in these organizations. Given this contradiction, we examine how the bureaucratization and institutionalization of political stability and economic performance in non-democracies encourage membership in different types of IGOs. Using a large-N sample of state-IGO membership from 1990 – 2020 of both democracies and non-democracies, we examine how the domestic political, economic, and institutional environments influence and variation in IGO membership.