Explaining regime content : the use of trade restrictive measures in multilateral environmental agreements
One of the central preoccupations of international relations scholars is to explain and elaborate the conditions under which international co-operation will occur. In particular, the 'international regimes' literature investigates how states attempt to manage collective action problems such as threats to the global environment. While there has been much progress in our understanding of the conditions required for the formation and maintenance of regimes, the question of regime content - also known as regime properties or institutional design - has been neglected. A second aspect of international co-operation yet to be fully treated is issue linkage. How does one regime - and its provisions - interact with another. The thesis addresses these issues by investigating a specific question: under what conditions will trade restrictive measures be incorporated into a multilateral environmental agreement (MEA). In addition to the regime analysis literature, I draw upon the 'trade and environment' literature on the interaction between trade policy and environmental policy to strengthen the analytical framework. The debate regarding potential conflicts between the rules of the World Trade Organization and the trade measures employed in various MEAs is particularly useful. A review of the contributions and gaps of the relevant literatures provides the basis for selecting four factors - power, costs and benefits, knowledge, and institutional forum - that are used to answer the research question. The use of trade restrictions is examined in the two pre-UNCED MEAs that are most clearly at the intersection of trade and environment: the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and the 1989 Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes. The thesis then extends the analysis to consider the future of trade restrictive measures in MEAs by applying the conclusions drawn from the two in-depth case studies to two post-UNCED MEAs: the 1998 Rotterdam Convention for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and the planned Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. It is found that while power, costs and benefits, and institutional forum contribute in different degrees to understanding the factors influencing regime content, traditional knowledge-based regime analysis approaches fail to do so. Thus, a broader approach to examining the role of knowledge - analysing the influence of the Dominant Social Paradigm - is employed and demonstrated to have strong explanatory power.