Disaggregating International Regimes

Disaggregating International Regimes: A New Approach to Evaluation and Comparison

Olav Schram Stokke
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: MIT Press
Pages: 368
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  • Book Info
    Disaggregating International Regimes
    Book Description:

    Evaluating the effectiveness of international regimes presents challenges that are both general and specific. What are the best methodologies for assessment within a governance area and do they enable comparison across areas? In this book, Olav Schram Stokke connects the general to the specific, developing new tools for assessing international regime effectiveness and then applying them to a particular case, governance of the Barents Sea fisheries. Stokke's innovative disaggregate methodology makes cross-comparison possible by breaking down the problem and the relevant empirical evidence. Stokke employs fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis, and his approach is disaggregate in three ways: it separates the specific governance problem into its cognitional, regulatory, and behavioral components; it splits into three the counterfactual analysis of what the outcome would have been if the regime had not existed; and it decomposes the empirical evidence to maximize the number of observations. By applying this methodology to a regional resource regime known as one of the world's most successful, Stokke bridges the gap between the intensive case study analyses that have dominated the field and increasingly ambitious efforts to devise quantitative methods for examining the causal impacts of regimes. Stokke's analysis sheds light on the implementation and the interaction of international institutions, with policy implications of regime design and operation.The hardcover edition does not include a dust jacket.

    eISBN: 978-0-262-30578-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Series Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Frank Biermann and Oran R. Young

    Humans now influence all biological and physical systems of the planet. Almost no species, no land area, and no part of the oceans has remained unaffected by the expansion of the human species. Recent scientific findings suggest that the entire earth system now operates outside the normal state exhibited over the past 500,000 years. Yet at the same time, it is apparent that the institutions, organizations, and mechanisms by which humans govern their relationship with the natural environment and global biogeochemical systems are utterly insufficient—and poorly understood. More fundamental and applied research is needed.

    Yet such research is no...

  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Olav Schram Stokke
  5. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. 1 Introduction: A Disaggregate Approach
    (pp. 1-36)

    Do international regimes actually work? How can we measure the effectiveness of a regime, or the difference it makes to the problem it is meant to address? What conditions promote or impede effectiveness? This book develops a new approach to analyzing international regime effectiveness and applies it to the regional regime for managing fisheries in the Barents Sea.¹ The approach is disaggregate in three respects. It decomposes the problem addressed by the regime in a way that applies to all or most international institutions. It splits into three parts the difficult counterfactual analysis of what the outcome would have been...

  7. 2 Effectiveness Theories and Methods
    (pp. 37-80)

    At the core of regime-effectiveness studies are two questions: would problem solving be significantly lower if the regime had not existed, and how far is the problem from being fully solved? As this chapter shows, answering the first, counterfactual question requires a good explanation of why the actual level of problem solving varies. The approach taken here is to identify the main drivers of and impediments to problem solving and then examine whether those factors have been influenced by the regime. Answering the second question, on the adequacy of any regime effects, requires clear specification of what would constitute full...

  8. 3 Means for Governance
    (pp. 81-108)

    This chapter describes the components of the Barents Sea fisheries regime, how it is nested in the global regime for fisheries, and its connections to national bodies for fisheries management and to the fishing industries in the region. Each of these aspects of the regime has changed significantly in the period studied, affecting the regime’s ability to influence cognitional, regulatory, and behavioral problem solving.

    The first section outlines the high and rising economic and political salience of fisheries in the Barents Sea. Next I discuss important continuities, changes, and contrasts regarding the national means for governance of regional fisheries. Both...

  9. 4 Cognitional Effectiveness
    (pp. 109-152)

    The cognitional problem in focus for international regimes is to build a shared, well-founded understanding of how best to achieve the social purpose of the regime. In fisheries management, that means generating research-based advice that differentiates accurately among alternative management programs in terms of the impacts on the state of targeted and related stocks. Some of the factors that have improved cognitional problem solving in the Barents Sea case are regime-driven and include deepening collaboration among Norwegian and Russian research institutions and the stepwise incorporation of ecosystem modeling in the basis for scientific advice. By treating the quality of scientific...

  10. 5 Regulatory Effectiveness
    (pp. 153-192)

    The regulatory problem in focus for international regimes is to establish a set of behavioral rules that jointly reflect the best available knowledge on how to achieve the social purpose of the regime. In fisheries management, that purpose is to maximize the long-term yield from the resource, which includes safeguarding its ability to replenish—in other words, it is a question of balancing utilization and conservation. Chapter 4 showed that the Barents Sea fisheries regime has helped improve the accuracy of scientific forecasts of how levels of harvesting will affect replenishment and sustainability. In this chapter we will see how...

  11. 6 Behavioral Effectiveness
    (pp. 193-236)

    The behavioral problem in focus for international regimes is to ensure that international rules really influence the actions of the target groups—those that engage in the activities regulated by the regime. Examining target-group impact, as this chapter does, is fundamental to the analysis of regime effectiveness since neither cognitional nor regulatory effectiveness will matter to resource management if there is no effect on the activities that exert pressure on the resource in question.

    The disaggregate approach to international regime effectiveness developed in chapter 2 revolves around counterfactual path analysis and the Oslo-Potsdam yardstick, which measures effectiveness as the ratio...

  12. 7 Aggregate Effectiveness
    (pp. 237-260)

    The basic problem or social purpose of an international regime is what motivated states to create it, whether it is avoidance of nuclear conflict, the furtherance of free trade, or the sustainable management of natural resources. Whatever the issue area, the causal chains that might connect the regime and the achievement of that purpose, to whatever degree, are usually long and complex, and therefore difficult to substantiate. The disaggregate approach makes such substantiation more tractable by considering three parts separately before joining them. The partial problems are to build shared and well-based knowledge among regime members on what measures will...

  13. 8 Conclusions
    (pp. 261-284)

    The aim of this book has been twofold: to develop a disaggregate approach to international regime effectiveness that can improve the balance among concerns for validity, determinacy, and generality, and to apply the approach to a specific case, the regime for managing shared fish stocks in the Barents Sea.

    The first two chapters addressed international regimes generally in the sense that the concepts, theories, and methods used and explained there should apply to any international regime. Chapter 1 gave a brief overview of international regime analysis and its place in the broader study of governance. I endorsed the mainstream definition...

  14. Appendixes
    (pp. 285-304)
  15. Notes
    (pp. 305-312)
  16. References
    (pp. 313-338)
  17. Index
    (pp. 339-348)