Dr. Claire Peacock is a postodoctoral researcher at the ESEI and will be a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow beginning in July 2019. Claire completed her DPhil (PhD) in International Relations at the University of Oxford in August 2018. Claire's research focuses on understanding the rationales behind and the design and outcomes associated with international cooperation, ranging from regulatory cooperation to treaty making to summitry politics. Her dissertation research explored why states include labour and human rights regulation in international trade agreements. Claire's postdoctoral research looks at the design and consequences of withdrawal provisions in international environmental agreements. She is also working on a project that maps and assesses the structure of offshore networks.
Claire is also interested in the application of data science methods to international relations data and works in R and Python. She enjoys teaching IR students the fundamentals of working with data and about evidence-based decisionmaking and research.
Her personal website is: https://cepeacock.home.blog.
International political economy, institutional design, international regulation, environmental cooperation, human rights, labour rights, international trade, statistical network analysis.
Morin, JF, B. Tremblay-Auger, and C Peacock (2022) "Design Trade-Offs Under Power Asymmetry: COPs and Flexibility Clauses ", Global Environmental Politics, 22 (1) 19-43.
Negotiating parties to an environmental agreement can manage uncertainty by including flexibility clauses, such as escape and withdrawal clauses. This article investigates a type of uncertainty so far overlooked by the literature: the uncertainty generated by the creation of a Conference of the Parties (COPs) in a context of sharp power asymmetry. When negotiating an agreement, it is difficult for powerful states to make a credible commitment to weaker states, whereby they will not abuse their power to influence future COP decision-making. Flexibility clauses provide a solution to this credibility issue. They act as an insurance mechanism in case a powerful state hijack the COP. Thus, we expect that the creation of a collective body interacts with the degree of power asymmetry to make flexibility clauses more likely in environmental agreements. To test this argument, we draw on an original dataset of several specific clauses in 2,090 environmental agreements, signed between 1945 and 2018. The results support our hypothesis and suggest that flexibility clauses are an important design feature of adaptive environmental agreements.
Peacock C., K. Milewicz, and D. Snidal, "Boilerplate in International Trade Agreements", International Studies Quarterly, Forthcoming.
New international agreements often recycle language from previous agreements, using boilerplate solutions alongside customized provisions. The presence of boilerplate in international agreements has important implications for understanding how international rules are made. The determinants behind boilerplate in interna- tional agreements have not previously been systematically evaluated. Using original data from a sample of 348 preferential trade agreements (PTAs) adopted between 1989 and 2009, we combine novel text analysis measures with Latent Order Logistic Graph (LOLOG) network techniques to assess the determinants behind boilerplate in labor and environmental provisions commonly found in PTAs. Our results indicate that whereas boilerplate can be used for both efficiency and distributive purposes, international boilerplate is used primarily for efficiency gains while power-distribution considerations are not systematically important.
Morin, JF, H Dobson, C. Peacock, M. Prys-Hansen, A. Anne, L. Belanger, P. Dietsch, J. Fabian, J. Kirton, R. Marchetti, S. Romano, M. Schreurs, A. Silve et E. Vallet (2019), "How Informality Can Address Emerging Issues: Making the Most of the G7", Global Policy, vol. 10(2): 267-273.
The Group of Seven (G7) leaders met for their 44th annual summit in Charlevoix, Canada in June 2018. Although the G7 has outlived many institutions of global governance, perennial doubts are cast upon it, particularly regarding its legitimacy and achievements. The Think 7/Idées 7 is a group of 35 scholars from all over the world who met from 21 to 23 May, 2018 at Laval University, Quebec City to identify key themes to be addressed at the Charlevoix Summit, communicating its findings to the G7 leaders’ personal representatives. This Policy Insights paper builds on these discussions and looks ahead to the 2019 Biarritz Summit by making recommendations of how the G7 can play a leadership role. We argue that it should address new, unprecedented and highly disruptive issues that characterise our complex world, rather than well-understood international problems that fit into existing categories. We argue that the G7 can do this by playing to its strengths – informality and like-mindedness in particular – in addressing emerging and transversal issues such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cryptocurrencies.
Peacock C., Dobson, H., Morin, J.F., and Prys-Hansen, M. “G7 Biarritz: Finding Agreement Amid Discord”. Future of Globalization, German Development Institute (2019).
It is a common practice today to speak about the demise of the liberal world order. Threats to multilateralism, free trade and democratic values seem to arise from everywhere; both through a growing assertiveness of authoritarian regimes, but also from within liberal democracies.This creates particular challenges for international cooperation at a time when the world is increasingly confronted with new or (re-)emerging and transversal issues such as digital privacy and inequality. These issues are insufficiently regulated within our existing system of institutions, necessitating new and renewed forms of multilateral cooperation.
In light of these challenges, on the occasion of the 2018 G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Canada and the accompanying Think 7 Summit (a meeting of researchers from G7 countries extended to include a number of outreach partners), we looked at the particular institutional characteristics of the G7 and how they impact its ability to tackle new and transversal issues in global governance. In an article that was the output of our involvement in the Think 7 Summit, we highlighted two important features of the G7 that make it better suited than other international institutions to address these issues: the informality and like-mindedness of G7 members when it comes to social, economic and political values. We argued the G7’s relatively high level of informality, along with its focus on shared values among members make it well adapted to address new and complex issues that have „no home”. At the same time, its members are frequently expected to share problem definitions that enable them to reach faster solutions. Both at the previous Charlevoix and the upcoming Biarritz Summits, leaders of the G7 have committed to dealing with increasingly complex threats to multilateralism and emerging problems such as growing inequality, green finance, and the taxation of the digital economy.
However, as the G7 Summit in Biarritz approaches, it has become clear that the likemindedness of G7 member states is in flux and what we are presented with is a “G6 plus one.” Given the current global context, reaching solutions on these issues has proven to be difficult in light of, in particular, domestic developments in the United States. Yet, with creative solutions building on the G7’s informality and the flexibility it provides, the current era of the G6 plus one will not necessarily relegate the G7 to a phase of decline and inactivity. Ahead of the upcoming summit, we call on leaders to make the most of the G7 by intensifying their debate on a long-term coherent vision strengthening common values and, where this proves to be impossible, to create mini-lateral solutions and long-term plans for particular problems at hand.