How does the transnationalization of markets shape institution building, particularly in those countries that have few options other than to incorporate the rules and norms promulgated by advanced industrialized countries? Building on recent advances in international and comparative political economy, we propose a framework for the comparative study of the ways in which transnational integration regimes (TIRs) shape the development of regulatory institutions in emerging market democracies. The ability of TIRs to alleviate the supply and demand problems of institutional change in these countries depends in large part on the ways in which TIRs translate their purpose and power into institutional goals, assistance and monitoring. Integration modes can be combined in different ways so as to empower or limit the participation of a variety of domestic public and private actors to pursue and contest alternative institutional experiments. We illustrate the use of our framework via a brief comparison of the impact of the European Union accession process on post-communist countries and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on Mexico, with special attention to the development of food safety regulatory institutions.