Emergence of Critical Mass

When a number of agents begin acting in accordance with a universal participation rule—participating and expecting everyone else to participate in the ozone depletion negotiations—we will see the emergence of a nascent universal participation norm. These actions alter the reality for all the agents—they change the structural context for ozone depletion. For as Kra-tochwil argues, "Actors are not only programmed by rules and norms, but they reproduce and change by their practice the normative structures by which they are able to act, share meanings, communicate intentions, criticize claims, and justify choices."88 Change in some actors will move the international community toward universal participation. An emergent critical mass around universal participation will significantly alter the dynamics of the global governance of climate change—new actors and issues will become the focus of the negotiations. States not in the critical mass will find it more and more difficult to navigate the governance processes with an internal model that does not fit with the new social context defined by the universal participation norm.

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