International bargaining, endogenous domestic constraints, and democratic accountability
How do domestic constraints affect international negotiations? Most existing research takes these constraints as given, owing to the presence of certain types of domestic institutions. We analyze a two-sided international bargaining model with endogenous domestic constraints. Our model includes a principal–agent tension between domestic audiences and leaders, and it shows how constraints may arise endogenously and be tailored to the strategic situation at hand by domestic audiences. We show that domestic actors can often use accountability mechanisms to garner bargaining leverage and control special interests, even when leaders hold private information about their distributive preferences. We also show that the relative strength of accountability across countries is important for understanding the emergence of endogenous constraints. We discuss the implications of these theoretical findings for the influence of domestic constraints in several prominent examples of international negotiations.