Date of Graduation

Winter 12-20-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)


College of Arts and Sciences


International Studies

First Advisor

Dana Zartner

Second Advisor

Elliot Neaman


This thesis investigates under which conditions do authoritarian Member States exist in International Organizations that require democratic governance in their treaty law. The European Union is used as a case study along with two of its Member States that are in the process of transitioning to democracy from previous authoritarian regimes—Hungary and Romania. This thesis employs stealth authoritarian theory to analyze how a democratizing Member State may violate these laws and revert to authoritarian governance. It also critiques international enforcement mechanisms to consider their effectiveness to enforce their laws and norms as well as prevent an authoritarian reversal. Finally, cultural internalization of IO law is analyzed in order to assess the conditions in which a Member State’s domestic population would approve, or even call for, undemocratic governance that violates IO law.