Hierarchy amidst Anarchy

Transaction Costs and Institutional Choice

By Katja Weber

Subjects: International Organizations
Series: SUNY series in Global Politics
Paperback : 9780791447208, 216 pages, August 2000
Hardcover : 9780791447192, 216 pages, August 2000

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Table of contents

List of Tables and Figures


Chapter 1

Chapter 2
Developing the Transaction Costs Model

Chapter 3
Wartime Alliances during the Final Years of the Napoleonic Wars

Chapter 4
Security Arrangements Following Napoleon's Abdication

Chapter 5
In Search of Security via NATO

Chapter 6
The European Defense Community (EDC)

Chapter 7
Conclusion: Transaction Costs and a Theory of Integration




Analyzes the underlying basis for state participation in cooperative international structures.


Hierarchy amidst Anarchy is a study of state security provisions, explaining not only why states cooperate, and with whom, but also why they choose the specific types of cooperation they do. In contrast to competing theories that explain international cooperation in terms of the desire to be "bigger" or "stronger", Weber insists that the key to understanding countries' international institutional choices can be found by focusing on economic theories of organization and, more specifically, transaction costs. Cross-sectional studies of two historical periods, the final years of the Napoleonic Wars (1812-15) and the post-1945 period – such contrasting security structures as NATO and the European Defense Community - are used to illustrate the argument.

Katja Weber is Assistant Professor of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology.


"Weber identifies an important puzzle and draws convincingly on theories of transaction costs to specify rigorous answers to this puzzle. This book makes a contribution to theoretical and empirical studies of international institutions and organizations. It also turns our attention to an aspect of alliances that is typically neglected. " — Lisa Martin, Harvard University

"Important, original, and strong scholarship. " — Andrew Moravcsik, author of The Choice for Europe: Social Purpose and State Power from Messina to Maastricht