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The Architecture of Global Climate Governance: Setting the Stage

  • Frank Biermann
  • Fariborz Zelli
  • Philipp Pattberg
  • Harro van Asselt
Publishing year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 15-24
Publication/Series: Global Climate Governance Beyond 2012. Architecture, Agency and Adaptation
Document type: Book chapter
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Abstract english

This chapter introduces the first main part of this volume, on the overarching 'architecture' of global climate governance beyond 2012. In particular, the central question that guides all chapters in this part is about the causes and consequences of fragmentation versus integration of governance architectures. We ask which type of governance architectures promises a higher degree of institutional performance in terms of social and environmental effectiveness, and in particular whether a well-integrated governance architecture is likely to be more effective than a fragmented governance architecture. This question of increasing fragmentation of systems of global governance and of its relative benefits and problems has become a major source of concern for observers and policy-makers alike. Yet there is little consensus in the academic literature on this issue: in different strands of academic research, we find different predictions that range from a positive, affirmative assessment of fragmentation to a rather negative one (Zelli et al., this volume, Chapter 3). A key example is global climate governance, where advantages and disadvantages of a fragmented governance architecture have become important elements in proposals and strategies for future institutional development. Several proposals for a future climate governance architecture have been put forward that explicitly assert the value of fragmentation or diversity, or at least implicitly accept it. Others, however, remain supportive of a more integrated overall architecture. And yet, political science lacks a conceptual framework for the comparative study of different types and degrees of fragmentation of global governance architectures.


  • Political Science
  • climate governance
  • Kyoto protocol
  • institutional analysis
  • institutional theory
  • global governance
  • sustainable development
  • environmental governance
  • fragmentation
  • complexity
  • interplay
  • Public-Private Partnerships (PPP)
  • transnationalism


  • Miljöpolitik-lup-obsolete
  • ISBN: 978-0-521-19011-4
Fariborz Zelli
E-mail: fariborz [dot] zelli [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Department of Political Science

+46 46 222 47 64



Associate professor

Department of Political Science



Fariborz is director of the NAVIGOV project. He received the outstanding Ph.D. thesis award of the University of Tübingen and the award for outstanding teaching performance of the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

Ongoing research projects

Department of Political Science
Lund University
Visiting address: Paradisgatan 5H (House: Eden)
Postal address: Box 52, SE-221 00 LUND
Telephone: +46 46-222 89 52

Faculty of Social Sciences