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Title: Participation and cooperation in global climate governance
Author: Rowan, Sam
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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International climate politics have seemed stalled throughout much of the past three decades. At least until the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, states largely failed to adopt new substantive treaties through the United Nations-led climate governance process. However, at the same time and largely unnoticed, states created a vast array of over 60 additional institutions to manage climate change. These new institutions address neglected topics, articulate alternative principles, and convene different sets of actors than the UN-led process. I ask why states have created these outside institutions, why states join these institutions, and how participation in these institutions relates to states' cooperative behavior. I argue that the UN-led climate process is an inefficient response to climate change that leaves states dissatisfied and searching for other institutional options. However, this dissatisfaction arises from two opposing sources. First, states may be dissatisfied with the slow pace of cooperative progress. These states join new climate institutions that focus on capacity building and supporting ambitious cooperation. By contrast, a second set of states are dissatisfied with the spectre of costly mitigation obligations in a new climate treaty. These states join new climate institutions that focus on negotiations and act to undermine effective cooperation. As a result, dissatisfied states join climate institutions for opposing reasons, and crucially they join different kinds of institutions. I use a statistical measurement model to recover states' preferences in international climate politics from their memberships in climate institutions. In statistical tests, I then show two important facts. First, state participation in climate institutions is linked to their dissatisfaction. Second, patterns of participation are associated with the ambition of countries' greenhouse gas mitigation targets in the Paris Agreement. These findings help illuminate debates about how states use dense institutional environments, why states join institutions, and the depth of cooperation.
Supervisor: Snidal, Duncan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: International cooperation ; Global environmental change ; International organization ; International relations ; Climatic changes