Preface

Ozone depletion and climate change present the international community with enormous governance challenges. Given the large stakes involved with mitigating or living with ozone depletion and climate change, it is no wonder that the governance of these problems is a crucial concern on the world political stage. Conventionally, studies focus on economic costs and benefits and/or scientific knowledge in their analyses of environmental governance. In contrast, this study is driven by a fundamental curiosity about the social foundations of global environmental governance. Specifically, I find it crucial to uncover how actors understand and frame the problems that they face before attempting to explain the negotiations, treaties, rules, and institutions that most consider to be the stuff of governance. Norms form this social foundation, shaping which actors participate, how they view "problems," and how they approach solutions. Therefore, examining the evolution of social norms is a necessary aspect of explaining how global environmental governance has unfolded and will unfold in the future.

This book investigates the foundations of global environmental governance for ozone depletion and climate change, tracing the evolution of participation norms—what states are required to participate in governance solutions—and examining how these understandings have shaped the global response to these crucial problems. The analysis is informed by constructivist thought about the emergence and evolution of norms as well as insights from the study of complex adaptive systems. Combining these two approaches allows me to integrate macro level change in the normative context through the norm life cycle with micro level change in actors through a process of complex adaptation. The result is an enhanced understanding of social norm dynamics and thus the foundations of governance.

Methodologically, the book undertakes both formal analysis in the form of agent-based computer simulation models and qualitative case studies, and it thus contains my plea for methodological eclecticism. We should not be thinking in terms of either formal analysis or case studies. Instead, the formal analysis enhances the empirical analysis, and in turn the empirical analysis informs modeling efforts. Solid analysis of global governance entails a recursive process of theorizing, modeling, and empirical investigation. This book reports my efforts at both modeling fundamental insights about the evolution of social norms and applying the insights in detailed case analysis of the governance of ozone depletion and climate change. The integration of multiple methods provides a much fuller picture than either method could have independently.

The theory and methods combine to tell a story of the emergence and evolution of participation norms and the cooperation and contestation that ensued in the ozone depletion and climate change negotiations between 1986 and 2004. It is my hope that such an analysis will, in some small way, lead to more effective global responses to these and other environmental problems.

Negotiating Essentials

Negotiating Essentials

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