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Should I stay or should I go? State Exits from Regional Organizations

Grundsfeld-Panke-Tverskoi

Grundsfeld-Panke-Tverskoi

Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) 

Project Leadership: Prof. Dr. Diana Panke 

Research Assistants: Lukas Grundsfeld, Pawel Tverskoi 

Student Assistants: Léonie Berton, Antonia Damm, Tim Rauschenberger, Mirjam Schellinger, Martin Stoll, Tim Vent 

  

Abstract 

The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU) recently made headlines and attracted a lot of public and academic attention. BREXIT is not the only case in which a member state has left a regional organization (RO). Between 1945 and 2022, there were 55 withdrawals from ROs. Analyzing these withdrawals is important because departures can affect international cooperation and potentially lead to further disintegration, which could also challenge the current multilateral world order. 

 

Not all states are equally inclined to leave ROs. In fact, exits from ROs are mainly driven by smaller states. While some ROs experienced multiple exits (e.g. Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa), others experienced only one exit (e.g. the EU) and still others never lost members (e.g. MERCOSUR). Important findings on state withdrawals from international organizations (IOs) do not apply to ROs. Therefore, we do not yet know why states leave ROs and why some ROs are more affected by exits than others, although understanding exits is of great importance to society and academia alike. 

 

This project therefore aims to uncover the reasons for the phenomenon of state exits from ROs by answering the following research questions: 

  1. Why are some states more prone to leave ROs than others? 
  2. Why are some ROs more prone to state exits than others? 

 

 Conference Contributions

  • Diana Panke, Lukas Grundsfeld, Lukas and Pawel Tverskoi (2023): Ending Cooperation. A Comparative Analysis of State Exits from Regional International Organizations. Paper presented at the 18. Biennial Conference of the European Union Studies Association’s, Pittsburgh, May 2023. 

  • Diana Panke (2023): Populist and Nationalist Challenges All the Way? Why Member States Withdraw from Regional Organizations. Paper presented at the 18. Biennial Conference of the European Union Studies Association’s, Pittsburgh, May 2023. 

  • Diana Panke, Lukas Grundsfeld und Pawel Tverskoi (2023): Ending Cooperation: A Comparative Analysis of State Exits from Regional International Organizations. Paper presented at the 64. Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, Montréal, March 2023.