Xinyuan Dai is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is author of International Institutions and National Policies (Cambridge Univ. Press 2007). Her work has appeared in American Political Science Review, International Organization, World Politics, Journal of Theoretical Politics, Journal of Conflict Resolution and Social Networks.
Her current research examines how international instruments generate domestic effects, how domestic factors condition such effects, and how domestic factors – interests and institutions – shape international outcomes (including in the field of the environment). The types of issues being addressed include: 1. Effects of weak international institutions. I seek to develop a more rigorous conceptualization of weak international institutions in domestic politics. How do weak international institutions differ systematically from powerful ones in the way they relate to governments and domestic constituencies? How does this difference in turn speak to the prevalence of such institutions as well as their varying utilities? 2. An examination of the design of international institutions in a domestic constituency framework. How do domestic mechanisms of compliance influence the trade-off between strong and weak international institutions or between broad and deep international agreements? 3. Effects of international sanctions. How does a broader range of international instruments – including international sanctions – generate divergent domestic effects. For instance, when and how do international sanctions generate a rally-around-the-flag versus a fifth-column effect in the target country? 4. China and theories of international institutions. How do the West-oriented theories of international institutions apply to China and how does the way that China interacts with international institutions inform contemporary theories of international institutions?