International regime formation : the politics of ozone layer depletion and global warming
This thesis examines the politics of international regime formation, with particular reference to the global atmospheric problems of ozone layer depletion and global warming. A review of the international relations literature reveals that there are three approaches to the study of international regime formation: global, state-centred and individualistic. Building upon these, three preconditions and four catalysts for international regime formation are proposed. Each of the hypothesised preconditions -- scientific consensus, tolerable domestic economics costs and global equity -- is necessary, though not by itself sufficient, for international regime formation. Meanwhile, although no one of the hypothesised catalysts -- political entrepreneurs, the solidity of the broader international political system, environmental pressure groups and the mobilisation of public opinion -- is a necessary element for the formation of an international regime, the presence of any one can nevertheless accelerate the rate at which regimes are formed. The theoretical framework that is proposed is applied to the histories of the ozone layer depletion and global warming issues. In this investigation, data up to the end of 1991 were considered. The thesis also considers some issues that extend beyond the end of 1991, for the nature of parts of the analysis precludes an unwavering commitment to this cut-off date. The findings of this investigation have both theoretical and empirical dimensions. First, because the application of the theoretical framework does not invalidate it, thinking about the formation of regimes in international society in general is advanced. And second, by applying the framework to these two particular issues, explanations are offered as to why an international regime had been formed by the end of 1991 to preserve the earth's ozone layer, while one to deal with global warming had not.