The Continent of International Law (COIL)

The Continent of International Law (COIL) research project explains international agreement design in terms of a set of logically-derived and empirically-testable hypotheses. To test the theory, a dataset was developed, featuring a random sample of agreements across the issue areas of economics, environment, human rights and security, and including both bilateral and multilateral agreements. Perhaps more significantly, the underlying cooperation problems that brought states to the negotiating table were also coded. A coding instrument, with 10 sections and 500+ questions, was used to record the details of the international agreements. Coder training was a 9-month process, and every agreement in the dataset was coded independently by at least two coders, with an intercoder reliability report having been generated and discrepancies resolved by the PI in consultation with the coders. COIL results have been published in a variety of journals, including the American Political Science Review (APSR), Journal of Legal Studies, and Law and Contemporary Problems.

Project Website

Barbara Koremenos. Center for Political Studies (PI)

American National Science Foundation (NSF); University of California-Los Angeles; University of Michigan

Project Period
2001 - current