International multilateral negotiations are becoming longer and more complex. The Uruguay Round of the trade negotiations lasted eight years, the Doha Round will surpass that, and the international climate negotiations have already stretched across decades. Existing theories of international negotiations have failed to capture the dynamics of prolonged negotiations, especially changes in the interaction between domestic politics and international relations. While the concept of a ‘two level game’ can be used to understand when and how domestic politics and international relations interact, as yet there has been no consideration of how this relationship changes over time.
This research will investigate the formation and changing nature of the two-level game. In particular, it will analyse the historical factors that have influenced the negotiating approaches of the US and the EU during the climate negotiations between 1992 and 2000. In doing so, it will explore how and why two-level games form and how the level of interaction changes in the course of prolonged negotiations. A better understanding of these dynamics could help to explain why some international negotiations end in deadlock and others in agreement.