Pahre, Robert (2003) "Formal and Informal Ratification in the European Union". [University of Illinois EUC Working Paper, Vol. 3, No. 1.]. In: UNSPECIFIED, Nashville, Tennessee. (Unpublished)
Putnam's theory "two-level games" has spawned numerous studies examining the interaction between international and domestic politics, many focusing on politics in the European Union. While noting that ratification may be formal or informal, much of this literature treats each important domestic actor as if it has de facto formal ratification power. This means that the literature overlooks the very real distinction between formal and informal ratification. Informal ratification may be thought of as a case in which the government pays "audience costs" for unpopular international agreements. In this case, a government must respond continuously to public opinion. This presents constraints very different from those faced by governments who must obtain the formal approval of a legislature (or other actor). For example, divided government has no effect on the likelihood of informal ratification but does affect the distribution of gains, while it often affects the likelihood of formal ratification but has no effect on the distribution of the gains in many cases. Because these kinds of ratification differ significantly, Putnam's ratification metaphor is not always the most appropriate conceptualization of two-level politics in the European Union.
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