The Comparative Regional Organizations Project (CROP) is a database project aiming to facilitate the systematic comparison of international regional organizations. It is linked to a research project exploring the influence of diffusion processes on the design of regional organizations. CROP has collected the founding and amending treaties of more than 80 regional organizations since 1945, and coded their institutional design and characteristics with a questionnaire of more than 300 items. It constitutes the largest and most detailled data gathering project on regional organizations to date.
CROP is funded by a three-year grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG) and will run from 2015 to 2018.
The CROP database allows us to describe and analyse in detail the pattern of emergence and institutional development of regional organizations, as indicated by their agreements. It captures the institutional characteristics of regional organizations established since 1945. We are particularly interested in the formal institutional structure of regional organizations. ‚ÄúInstitutional structure‚ÄĚ refers to the institutions and policies mentioned in the regional organizations‚Äô founding and amending agreements. We understand these to be regional organizations‚Äô ‚Äúconstitutions‚ÄĚ, defined here as a ‚Äúset of institutions governing political decision-making‚ÄĚ (Weingast 1995: 2). Thus, every regional organization in this sense has its own ‚Äúconstitution‚ÄĚ, even if it does not necessarily bind its member states together in a meaningful way or does not meet more demanding criteria regarding the ‚Äėoptimal design of the constitution-making process‚Äô (Elster 1998).
Papers and updates are regularly posted on ResearchGate: www.researchgate.net/project/Comparative-Regional-Organizations-Project-CROP