Tim Büthe

Associate Research Professor of Political Science

External address: 
140 Science Drive, Gross Hall, 2nd Floor, Dept of Political Science, Box 90204, Durham, NC 27708-0204
Internal office address: 
Box 90204, Durham, NC 27708-0204
(919) 660-4365


My research is driven by two primary interests that cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries. First, I seek to advance our understanding of how political, legal, and economic institutions not only constrain but also empower some stakeholders vis-à-vis others and how these distributional consequences affect institutional persistence and change in the long run. Second, I seek to understand how market and non-market processes interact in specific issues areas that are intrinsically important The resulting research shows, for instance, that the global governance ("transnational regulation") of product and financial markets is deeply political even when it takes place in non-governmental bodies of technical experts (transnational or private regulation). Other major projects focus on the foreign direct investment (FDI), especially the costs and benefits of using international trade and investment treaties to reduce the political risks FDI faces in developing countries, and foreign aid, especially the distinctiveness of private humanitarian and development aid. A newer NSF-funded project analyzes the international dimension of antitrust/competition policy and builds the first comprehensive database of cross-nationally comparable data on antitrust (competition) law and enforcement.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Columbia University 2002

  • M.A., Columbia University 1997

  • B.A., Harvard University 1995

Büthe, T. "The Politics of Competition and Institutional Change in the European Union: The First 50 Years." In Making History: European Integration and Institutional Change at Fifty (The State of the European Union, vol.8),edited by S Meunier and KR McNamara, 175-194. Oxford University Press, 2007.


Buthe, T, and Milner, HV. "The politics of foreign direct investment into developing countries: Increasing FDI through international trade agreements?." AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE 52, no. 4 (October 2008): 741-762. Full Text

Buethe, T. "Politics and institutions in the regulation of global capital: A review article." REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS 3, no. 2 (June 2008): 207-220. Full Text

Büthe, T. "Politics and Institutions in the Regulation of Global Capital." Review of International Organizations 3, no. 2 (June 2008): 207-220.

Mattli, W, and Buthe, T. "Accountability in accounting? The politics of private rule-making in the public interest." GOVERNANCE-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POLICY ADMINISTRATION AND INSTITUTIONS 18, no. 3 (July 2005): 399-429. Full Text

Büthe, T, and Mattli, W. "Global Private Governance: Lessons from a National Model of Setting Standards in Accounting." Law and Contemporary Problems 68, no. 3/4 (July 2005).

Büthe, T. ""European Integration, 1950-2003"." Journal of Cold War Studies 7 (2005): 166-168. (Review)

Büthe, T. "Governance through Private Authority? Non-State Actors in World Politics." Journal of International Affairs (New York) 58, no. 1 (October 2004): 281-290.

Mattli, W, and Büthe, T. "Setting International Standards: Technological Rationality or Primacy of Power?." World Politics 57, no. 1 (October 2003): 1-42.

Buthe, T. "Taking temporality seriously: Modeling history and the use of narratives as evidence." AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW 96, no. 3 (September 2002): 481-493.