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Reforming international environmental governance : an institutionalist critique of the proposal for a World Environment Organisation


Gehring, Thomas; Oberthür, Sebastian


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Abstract "This article argues that a World Environment Organisation (WEO) does not promise to enhance international environmental governance. First, we claim that the establishment of an international organisation alone in a policy field currently populated by regimes cannot be expected to significantly improve environmental governance because there is no qualitative difference between these two forms of governance institutions. Second, we submit that significant improvement of international environmental governance through institutional rearrangement must rely on a modification of decision-making procedures and/or a change of institutional boundaries. Third, we develop three principal models of a possible WEO. A WEO formally providing an umbrella for existing regimes without modifying issue-areas and decisionmaking procedures would be largely irrelevant. A WEO integrating decision-making processes of existing regimes so as to form comprehensive ‘world environment rounds’ of intergovernmental bargaining would be largely dysfunctional and prone to a host of negative side-effects. A ‘supranational’ WEO including large-scale use of majority decision-making and far-reaching enforcement mechanisms across a range of environmental issues might considerably enhance international environmental governance, but it appears to be grossly utopian. In conclusion, a WEO cannot be at the same time realistic, significant and beneficial for international environmental governance. Available political resources should be invested in advancing existing and emerging sectoral environmental regimes rather than in establishing a WEO." [author's abstract]
Thesaurusschlagwörter global governance; governance; environment; environmental protection; institution; cooperation; international cooperation; multilateralism; global governance
Klassifikation internationale Beziehungen, Entwicklungspolitik; spezielle Ressortpolitik; Ökologie und Umwelt
Methode Dokumentation
Freie Schlagwörter co-operation theory; international environmental governance; international institutions; multilateral environmental agreements; regime theory; World Environment Organisation
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2004
Seitenangabe S. 359-381
Zeitschriftentitel International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 4 (2004) 4
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10784-004-3095-6
Status Veröffentlichungsversion; begutachtet
Lizenz Deposit Licence - Keine Weiterverbreitung, keine Bearbeitung
Datenlieferant Dieser Metadatensatz wurde vom Sondersammelgebiet Sozialwissenschaften (USB Köln) erstellt.