Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Adrian Shin

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Fitzgerald

Third Advisor

Dr. Levente Szentkirályi

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.


This thesis seeks to understand why some policymakers sign international agreements governing the rights of investors by looking at the effects of winning coalitions on state leaders. The two empirical sections of this thesis examine the mechanisms through which political institutions, and the policymakers within them, shape executive level policy toward bilateral investment treaties in autocratic states. I find that signing agreements with highly developed OECD states contributes to the credibility of policymakers within the regime, which ultimately incentivizes the signing of international agreements.