A working definition of regimes

My interest in international regimes in this dissertation follows a theoretical tradition that focuses on how shared norms guide the behavior of international actors. I take my starting point with the definition provided by Krasner, i.e. "regimes as principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures around which actor expectations converge in a given issue area."35 He defines principles as beliefs of fact, causation, and rectitude. Norms are standards of behavior defined in terms of rights and obligations. Rules are specific prescriptions and proscriptions for action. Decision-making procedures are prevailing practices for making and implementing collective choice.36

The Arctic Council illustrates this definition. In this context, eight states have negotiated a founding document as well as Rules of Procedure. The founding document sets out certain principles, such as a commitment to protect the Arctic environment, to support sustainable development of the region, and to recognize both traditional knowledge and science.37 I view them as principles in that the predecessor of the Arctic Council was created as a way to address the fact that degradation of the Arctic was becoming increasingly apparent. The norms are present in the rights and obligation to cooperate in the area of environmental protection. Examples of rules could be activities in terms of monitoring and assessing the Arctic environment that requires that the member states take measurements, share data, and allow their scientists to participate in assessment activities. The document also states that decisions are to be based on consensus, which indicates a certain norm but also points to the regime's decision-making procedures. These are further elaborated in the Rules of Procedure, which specify who the partici

32 Young, The Institutional Dimensions of Environmental Change. Fit, Interplay, and Scale, 5.

33 Young, The Institutional Dimensions of Environmental Change. Fit, Interplay, and Scale, 5.

34 Olav Schram Stokke, "Regimes As Governance Systems," in Global Governance. Drawing Insights from the Environmental Experience, ed. Oran R. Young, 27-63 (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997), 27.

35 Krasner, "Structural Causes and Regime Consequences: Regimes As Intervening Variables," 1.

36 Krasner, "Structural Causes and Regime Consequences: Regimes As Intervening Variables," 2.

37 Declaration on the Establishment of the Arctic Council, 19 September 1996, preamble.

pants are, their status, who can come with proposals, etc.38 A further discussion about the history and structure of the Arctic Council is presented in Chapter 4 of this dissertation.

In practice, it can be rather difficult to empirically separate principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures.39 Moreover, the various aspects of a regime are not always explicit in documents, likewise not all norms that appear in documents are followed in practice. The common denominator that I am interested in is the way in which regimes refer to the structures that shape cooperation within a specific context. This is regardless of whether these structures are visible with formal definitions of participants' roles or informal codes of behavior that the members can only break at a certain cost. Unless these structures are renegotiated or challenged, they define the range of action available to the actors within the context of a specific regime.

Rules and decision-making procedures can also become increasingly formalized or renegotiated as regimes develop over time. An example is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), where rules on peer-review have become increasingly explicit and where political sensitivities has made it important to pay attention to new issues, such as transparency of the process and participation by scientist from the different parts of the world.40 I thus do not view structure in the regime concept as static. However, if a regime is to influence the behavior and expectations of various actors, there needs to be a certain degree of stability over time. A time-limited activity, such as the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) would, in my view, therefore not be a regime, in contrast to the structure that has evolved around the global assessments of climate change under auspices of the IPCC.

The focus on a specific issue area in Krasner's definition of regimes poses a problem. For one, with an increasing interlinking of international governance related to many different issues, it can become precarious to define the issue area. For example, what does the current global climate regime include when there are different parties and different norms when looking at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a whole and the Kyoto Protocol? How do the structures of the IPCC relate to the political negotiations in the UNFCCC? There are also questions about how the climate regime (or the different parts of it) relates to the global trade re-gime?41 As issue areas are the results of how questions are framed and therefore are the result of social processes, I prefer to leave the question of issue area open to analysis. This also creates better opportunities for analyzing the interplay among regimes, includ

38 Arctic Council Rules of Procedure adopted at the First Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting Iqaluit, Canada September 17-18, 1998.

39 Barry Buzan, From International to World Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 163.

40 Bernd Siebenhüner, "Can Assessments Learn, and If So, How? A Study of the IPCC," in Assesments of Regional and Global Environmental Risks. Designing Processes for the Effective Use of Science in Decisionmaking, eds. Alexander E. Farrell and Jill Jäger, 166-186 (Washington, DC: Resources for the Future, 2006).

41 Mattias Hjerpe and Björn-Ola Linner, "Mapping synergies between climate and synergetic issue areas. Synergies between sustainable develoment policies in WTO and UNFCCC," manuscript.

ing how they are embedded, or nested in each other.42 Although I sometimes refer to the global climate regime as one entity, I recognize that it has distinct regimes within it, with different purposes as well as different norms and decision-making procedures. Compare, for example, IPCC's aim of being policy relevant, but not policy prescriptive, with the UNFCCC's purpose of being a venue for negotiating policy. I also interpret "issue area" broadly. I take as its starting point that it can refer both to a geographically broad but functionally narrow governance arrangement (e.g. the UNFCCC) and to geographically more limited but functionally broader cooperation (e.g. the Arctic Coun-cil).43

My working definition of regimes is very similar to the way the word institutions is used by the research program IDGEC, which defines institutions as "systems of rules, decision-making procedures, and programs that give rise to social practices, assign roles to the participants in these practices, and guide the interactions among the occupants of the relevant roles."44 In referring to literature inspired by the IDGEC program, I therefore sometimes use the word institutions similarly with regime. A problem with the word institutions is that it is also used to refer to much more fundamental structures of international society, such as sovereignty and diplomacy. In a review how the words institutions and regimes are used in international relations literature, Buzan suggests the terminology of primary institutions for referring to fundamental structures of international society and secondary institutions for referring to more specific arrangements. His secondary institutions would thus be equivalent of regimes.45 In discussing fundamental structures, I sometimes use Buzan's terminology of primary institutions, while the word institutions by itself can be read synonymously with regimes.

Young makes a clear distinction between organizations and institutions, and sees organizations as actors who can emerge as players whose activities are guided by the institutions' game rules.46 The terms regime and organization are thus not synonymous. However, in many cases regimes will be accompanied by organizations or give rise to organizations that support them in various ways. These organizations can become actors independent of the states or other members of the regime. An example is the role played by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in enhancing scientific knowledge about the causes and effects of stratospheric ozone depletion, where these organizations were more than mere agents of state interest.47 However unlike the accompanying organizations, a regime is by definition not an actor.48 I will try to follow this distinction between actor and structure and be clear when I refer to an organization and actor rather than the structures associated with a certain governance arrangement.

42 Young, "Rights, Rules, and Resources in World Affairs," 20; Oran R. Young, Governance in World Affairs (Ithaca and New York: Cornell University Press, 1999), 6; Young, The Institutional Dimensions of Environmental Change. Fit, Interplay, and Scale, chapter 5.

43 Young, Governance in World Affairs, 5.

44 Oran R. Young, Institutional Dimensions of Global Environmental Change. Science Plan International Human Dimensions Programme, 1998), 1.1.

45 Buzan, From International to World Society, Chapter 6.

46 Young, The Institutional Dimensions of Environmental Change. Fit, Interplay, and Scale, 5.

47 Breitmeier, "International Organizations and the Creation of Environmental Regimes," 101-102.

48 Hasenclever, et al. Theories of International Regimes, 11.

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