Understanding the development of international environmental agreements: A review of selected approaches to the development of international environmental regulation and the development of an integrated heuristic framework

Jens Stærdahl

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch

Abstract

There are many different theoretical schools concerned with how international regimes develop, and each supplies its own interpretation focusing on one or a few aspects of the process. Such ‘one shot’ explanations may be fruitful for scientific debate, but less useful as conceptual frameworks for practitioners and planners manoeuvring in a complex world. On the basis of a review of selected theories of international and environmental regulation, this article initiates the development of a conceptual framework for understanding the development of internationalenvironmental agreements. The point of departure for developing the model is the actor-structure debate within social science and theory of international relations. Based on critical realism, a framework is developed specifying the relation between collective action problem situations and negotiation situations. It is argued that the main characteristics of the collective action problem situation are story lines, socio-economic characteristics and political institutions. Socio-economic characteristics are defined as the relation of activities and consequences to production and distribution of goods (scope and integration) Storylines are discursive condensations of elements from many different domains into one narrative (Marteen Hajer). Political Institutions are codes of conduct that serve to define social practices, assign roles to the participants, and guide interaction among occupants of these roles (Oran Young). Regarding the negotiation between the involved states, the negotiation situation, it is argued that the starting point for understanding the negotiation situation is the position expressed by the national leader at the negotiation table. The research strategy for understanding the formation of the national negation position depends on the situation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2006
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventNordic political science conference (NOPSA) XIV - Reykjavik, Iceland
Duration: 11 Aug 200513 Aug 2005

Conference

ConferenceNordic political science conference (NOPSA) XIV
Country/TerritoryIceland
CityReykjavik
Period11/08/200513/08/2005

Keywords

  • internatational environmental regimes

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