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Global Environmental Governance Reconsidered

Global Environmental Governance Reconsidered

Frank Biermann
Philipp Pattberg
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: MIT Press
Pages: 318
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  • Book Info
    Global Environmental Governance Reconsidered
    Book Description:

    The notion of global governance is widely studied in academia and increasingly relevant to politics and policy making. Yet many of its fundamental elements remain unclear in both theory and practice. This book offers a fresh perspective by analyzing global governance in terms of three major trends, as exemplified by developments in global sustainability governance: the emergence of nonstate actors; new mechanisms of transnational cooperation; and increasingly segmented and overlapping layers of authority. The book, which is the synthesis of a ten-year "Global Governance Project" carried out by thirteen leading European research institutions, first examines new nonstate actors, focusing on international bureaucracies, global corporations, and transnational networks of scientists; then investigates novel mechanisms of global governance, particularly transnational environmental regimes, public-private partnerships, and market-based arrangements; and, finally, looks at fragmentation of authority, both vertically among supranational, international, national, and subnational layers, and horizontally among different parallel rule-making systems. The implications, potential, and realities of global environmental governance are defining questions for our generation. This book distills key insights from the past and outlines the most important research challenges for the future.

    eISBN: 978-0-262-30570-9
    Subjects: Economics, 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-xiv)
    Frank Biermann and Philipp Pattberg
  5. List of Acronyms
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. 1 Global Environmental Governance Revisited
    (pp. 1-24)
    Frank Biermann and Philipp Pattberg

    Global governancehas become a key term in academic and policy debates since the late 1990s. Whereas an Internet search in 1997 produced merely 3,418 references toglobal governance, and in January 2004 the same search turned up fewer than ninety thousand sources, in late 2010, more than twelve million websites mentioned the term. Global governance has become a rallying call for policy advocates who hail it as panacea for the evils of economic and ecological globalization, a global menace for opponents who fear it as the universal hegemony of the powerful few over the disenfranchised masses, and an analytical...

  7. I The New Actors

    • 2 International Bureaucracies
      (pp. 27-44)
      Steffen Bauer, Steinar Andresen and Frank Biermann

      Research on international relations is marked today by a resurgence of interest in the role and relevance of international bureaucracies and international organizations after a long period of academic neglect since the late 1970s (overview in Bauer et al. 2009). This chapter makes a threefold contribution to this thriving field of research. First, we add to current research by conceptualizing international bureaucracies as a distinct category of actors within international organizations and international relations. This helps to relate them to other types of nonstate actors that have been emphasized in recent research on global governance, such as multinational corporations (Tienhaara,...

    • 3 Global Corporations
      (pp. 45-68)
      Kyla Tienhaara, Amandine Orsini and Robert Falkner

      Global corporations have been key players in the development of global environmental governance. The significance of these actors has not always been acknowledged in the academic literature but recent scholarship has produced a wealth of studies on the theoretical and empirical dimensions of business involvement in international environmental politics (for overviews of this literature, see Levy and Newell 2005b; Falkner 2008). This shift in the literature is partly a reflection of the rapid proliferation and growth of global corporations. At the dawn of the global environmental movement in the early 1970s, there were a mere seven thousand parent enterprises (Clapp...

    • 4 Science Networks
      (pp. 69-94)
      Aarti Gupta, Steinar Andresen, Bernd Siebenhüner and Frank Biermann

      Within debates about global environmental governance, voices from science are often heard and referred to. Be it in the media, official negotiation documents, activist campaigns, or public speeches, scientific findings are regularly quoted and interpreted. Although the climate regime is the most visible case in point, other policy arenas such as biodiversity governance, transboundary air pollution, or ozone depletion are no exceptions. Whether this signals increased scientific influence in the governance of crucial global environmental challenges remains, however, a matter of scrutiny.

      The role of science in global environmental governance has changed since the 1980s in the direction of greater...

  8. II The New Mechanisms

    • 5 Transnational Environmental Regimes
      (pp. 97-122)
      Philipp Pattberg

      It is a widely held understanding among scholars of international relations that increased participation of nonstate actors has given rise to new forms of governance beyond the state that transcend the traditional system of legally binding agreements negotiated by governments. In addition to classical intergovernmental—that is, state-based—regimes like the ozone regime, the climate regime, or the regime for the conservation of biodiversity, a broad range of nongovernmental transboundary regimes have emerged and proliferated since the early 1990s. Examples include the accounting standards developed by the International Accounting Standards Board (Nölke 2006), the credit-rating standards developed by a small...

    • 6 Transnational Public-Private Partnerships
      (pp. 123-148)
      Karin Bäckstrand, Sabine Campe, Sander Chan, Ayşem Mert and Marco Schäferhoff

      Transnational public-private partnerships for sustainable development are frequently advanced as policy innovations to reduce implementation and legitimacy deficits in global governance (Haas 2004). Partnerships are conceived as more adequate and effective governance instruments compared to traditional regulatory mechanisms. They are often framed as win-win solutions that increase the democratic credentials of global governance while simultaneously strengthening its environmental performance (Benner, Streck, and Witte 2003; Streck 2004). The Global Governance Project has systematically conducted a series of quantitative studies, in-depth and comparative case studies, as well as interpretive policy and text analyses on transnational partnerships for sustainable development. This chapter critically...

    • 7 Transnational Governance Experiments
      (pp. 149-172)
      Harriet Bulkeley, Matthew J. Hoffmann, Stacy D. VanDeveer and Victoria Milledge

      In this chapter, we develop an account of transnational governance that moves beyond specific forms of private regimes (Pattberg, this book, chapter 5) and public-private partnerships (Bäckstrand et al., this book, chapter 6) to encompass what we termtransnational governance experiments. Empirically, it is clear that a growing array of more or less institutionalized forms of transnational governance are emerging that are not captured within these frameworks, and that they are contributing to the growing diversity and fragmentation of the global governance landscape. Actors that used to orient themselves toward traditional multilateral governance mechanisms are now experimenting with new arrangements....

  9. III The New Interlinkages and Fragmentations

    • 8 Horizontal Institutional Interlinkages
      (pp. 175-198)
      Fariborz Zelli, Aarti Gupta and Harro van Asselt

      In this chapter, we analyze the increasingly important phenomenon of institutional interlinkages in global environmental governance. Institutional interlinkages are connections among policy processes, rules, norms, and principles of two or more institutions. We focus on the international level and hence on horizontal interlinkages between one or more international (environmental) institutions.

      From the mid-1990s onward, the global governance literature has put greater emphasis on analyzing such interlinkages (Herr and Chia 1995; Young 1996). In addition to initial conceptual approaches and single case studies (Rosendal 2001; Stokke 2001a; Young 2002, 2008), major research projects have analyzed conflictive and synergistic interlinkages across international...

    • 9 International-Domestic Linkages and Policy Convergence
      (pp. 199-218)
      Per-Olof Busch, Aarti Gupta and Robert Falkner

      Links between international and domestic policy choices are now a mainstay of global environmental governance research. A common analytical concern is the question of whether multilevel policy linkages fuel convergence of national policies. Most debates about convergence have taken place within a broader literature on globalization and its effects on domestic policies. In this chapter, we draw on this broader literature to consider whether and how linkages between international and domestic levels result in convergence or divergence of domestic policies across different countries. Drawing on two policy areas—governance of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in developing countries and renewable electricity...

    • 10 Regional Governance Arrangements
      (pp. 219-236)
      Tatiana Kluvánková-Oravská and Veronika Chobotová

      Recent decades have witnessed in many parts of the world a shift of authority away from states up to regional levels. Where regions have become stronger, regional governance has often transformed the coordination of social relations, including informal and formal institutions, the role of different actors, and the nature of decision-making processes (Rosenau 1992, 1997; Rhodes 1996; Stoker 1998; Hooghe and Marks 2003; Bache and Flinders 2004; Jordan 2008). This process is particularly relevant in European regional integration, which is thus the focus of this chapter. In particular, we study the influence of regional governance arrangements on the new member...

    • 11 The Changing Role of the State
      (pp. 237-264)
      Daniel Compagnon, Sander Chan and Ayşem Mert

      Devoting a chapter to the role of the state in global governance in a book focusing mainly on nonstate actors and governance beyond the state might be unusual. Is it necessary once more to bring the state back in (Mol 2007), and for what purpose? The valid critique of the overstated centrality of the state in classical international relations theory—in the realist and the liberal traditions—should not lead us to support the opposite and perilous assumption that the state as a concept has lost relevance in governance theory. Private governance is not altogether a new reality if one...

  10. 12 Conclusions
    (pp. 265-280)
    Frank Biermann and Philipp Pattberg

    Among the many insights presented in this book, one thread runs through all studies: there is hardly any coherent, systematic, structured system of global environmental governance. Instead, global environmental governance presents itself as a complex web of multiple and interacting actors, networks, and institutions. For one, the number and type of actors in global environmental governance has multiplied in the last decades. Particularly striking is the strengthened role of international bureaucracies (Bauer, Andresen, and Biermann, this book, chapter 2), multinational corporations (Tienhaara, Orsini, and Falkner, this book, chapter 3), and scientists (Gupta et al., this book, chapter 4). As a...

  11. Glossary
    (pp. 281-284)
  12. Contributors
    (pp. 285-292)
  13. Index
    (pp. 293-302)