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Title: Co-evolution of regime complexes and national policy coherence : the case of the cluster of biodiversity-related conventions and national implementation systems in Latin America and the Caribbean
Author: Velázquez Gomar, José Octavio
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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Integration, implementation and coherence are major concerns in international debates on environmental and sustainable development governance. It is a common argument that governance within and across jurisdictional levels is fragmented. Mainstream debates have nonetheless overlooked the emergence of regime complexes or loosely coupled systems of institutions in areas of environmental and sustainable development governance. Scholars have recently observed that regime complexes co-evolve with governmental policy-making such that changes in one of them can stimulate adjustments in the other. An open question, however, is whether that co-evolution extends to the ambit of national implementation. This needs to be examined to determine whether, and to what extent, coherence or synergy between institutional and implementation arrangements arises spontaneously in conditions of regime complexity, and whether it can be improved within existing governance structures rather than through institutional change. This research develops an approach to examine the co-evolution of regime complexes and national implementation systems. Using an abductive research strategy, it analyses the observed (but not yet researched) gap between global integration in the cluster of biodiversity-related multilateral environmental agreements and national co-ordination of implementation activities. National implementation is explored in countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Empirical evidence is collected from interviews with public officials and practitioners, and from documentary sources. Materials are examined through thematic analysis approaches. Results reveal that institutional and implementation arrangements display similar evolution patterns, notwithstanding of which an implementation gap is evident. Cross-level interactions have been unidirectional (from the global to the national levels) with no clear evidence of positive feedback loops. Structure constrains, but does not impede, more cohesive evolutions. The analysis provides evidence for the co-evolution of regime complexes and national implementation systems, but concludes that co-evolution needs to be steered if coherent governance is to be achieved at the pace and degree required to address pressing problems. The thesis challenges proposals for institutional reform, supporting instead policy interventions within existing structures.
Supervisor: Paavola, J. ; Stringer, L. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available