Nash versus Schelling? The importance of constraints in legislative bargaining


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BAILER, Stefanie, Gerald SCHNEIDER, 2006. Nash versus Schelling? The importance of constraints in legislative bargaining. In: THOMSON, Robert, ed. and others. The European Union decides. Cambridge:Cambridge Univ. Pr., pp. 153-177

@incollection{Bailer2006versu-4205, title={Nash versus Schelling? The importance of constraints in legislative bargaining}, year={2006}, address={Cambridge}, publisher={Cambridge Univ. Pr.}, booktitle={The European Union decides}, pages={153--177}, editor={Thomson, Robert}, author={Bailer, Stefanie and Schneider, Gerald} }

<rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="" xmlns:bibo="" xmlns:dc="" xmlns:dcterms="" xmlns:xsd="" > <rdf:Description rdf:about=""> <dcterms:abstract xml:lang="eng">When the Council of Ministers had to decide on the so-called chocolate directive in 1999, its plan to allow vegetable fat in the production of candy products met with fierce opposition from Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. These three member states objected to the usage of vegetable fats other than cocoa in chocolate. Although they advanced some consumer-friendly arguments, continental manufacturers also tried to avoid competition from the British chocolate industry and to protect some of their traditional trading partners in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.1 They particularly protested against the proposed derogations that would have allowed the United Kingdom and Ireland to continue the production of household milk chocolate , which contains a large amount of milk. While the Belgian government spoke of a la carte harmonisation benefiting the industries of only certain member states (Europe Daily Bulletins, No. 7583, 29 October 1999), French chocolate makers demonstrated against the measure during the plenary session of the European Parliament in January 2000. The massive lobbying by the Belgian and French interest groups was, however, only partially successful. The European Parliament accepted the common position of the Council, allowing some sorts of vegetable fats in chocolate as well as the derogations favouring British and Irish family milk chocolate . The legislature nevertheless added a fair trade requirement. This successful amendment granted the industry the right to sell chocolate containing up to six sorts of vegetable fat everywhere in the European Union, as long as these ingredients came from developing countries (Europe Daily Bulletins, No. 7677, 16 March 2000). The compromise found illustrates that domestic interests considerably shape the negotiation mandates of member states. At a theoretical level, the influence of sectoral interests in the negotiations on the chocolate directive is in line with the conjecture that domestically constrained and therefore supposedly weak negotiators, like the Belgian and French ministers under pressure from the chocolate industry and development countries, often possess disproportionate bargaining power. These two countries were able to postpone the directive for many years. Thomas Schelling (1960: 22) enthroned this hypothesis with the status of a paradox and suggested that a commitment to a demanding negotiation position might be a useful bargaining device. He wrote, that the power to constrain an adversary may depend on the power to bind oneself; that, in bargaining, weakness is often strength, freedom may be freedom to capitulate, and to burn bridges behind one may suffice to undo an opponent. Although the strategic analysis of such commitment tactics did not really take off until the early 1990s, Schelling s paradox of weakness has enjoyed considerable popularity in descriptive and normative bargaining theory. Robert D. Putnam s (1988) influential article on twolevel games reinforced the status of the counter-intuitive conjecture. According to him, constrained governments might try to exploit their constraint to advance their own interests. It was especially this idea that has encouraged empiricists and formal modellers to dwell on the paradox of weakness . This chapter evaluates the empirical relevance of the Schelling conjecture, showing that two-level game models do not predict much better than standard models of multilateral bargaining. We embed the Schelling conjecture within a conventional multi-actor Nash bargaining game. Our assessment of the paradox of weakness relies on different criteria account for the possible influence that domestic institutions, diverging ideological stances, and the behaviour of the negotiators exert on final outcome. We compare the predictive power of the different Schelling bargaining games with the accuracy of the symmetric Nash bargaining game. Our results show that the model that simultaneously considers institutional and ideological constraints fares the best by comparison. The models that try to measure domestic constraints through ideological constraints alone or the occurrence of threats have, by contrast, rather low predictive accuracy. The chapter is structured as follows: first introduce the Schelling conjecture and embed it within a multiactor Nash bargaining model. Next, we outline our research design. The empirical section presents the model comparison and analyses conditions under which the assumption of domestically constrained governments makes sense in the analysis of EU decision-making.</dcterms:abstract> <dcterms:rights rdf:resource=""/> <dc:language>eng</dc:language> <dc:contributor>Schneider, Gerald</dc:contributor> <dcterms:available rdf:datatype="">2011-03-24T10:13:04Z</dcterms:available> <dcterms:issued>2006</dcterms:issued> <bibo:uri rdf:resource=""/> <dc:creator>Schneider, Gerald</dc:creator> <dc:rights>deposit-license</dc:rights> <dc:format>application/pdf</dc:format> <dcterms:bibliographicCitation>First publ. in: The European Union decides / ed. by Robert Thomson ... Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Pr., 2006, pp. 153-177</dcterms:bibliographicCitation> <dc:contributor>Bailer, Stefanie</dc:contributor> <dcterms:title>Nash versus Schelling? The importance of constraints in legislative bargaining</dcterms:title> <dc:date rdf:datatype="">2011-03-24T10:13:04Z</dc:date> <dc:creator>Bailer, Stefanie</dc:creator> </rdf:Description> </rdf:RDF>

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