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Fariborz Zelli

Fariborz Zelli

Professor | Principal Investigator BECC

Fariborz Zelli

The Architecture of Global Climate Governance: Setting the Stage


  • Frank Biermann
  • Fariborz Zelli
  • Philipp Pattberg
  • Harro van Asselt

Summary, in 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.

Publishing year







Global Climate Governance Beyond 2012. Architecture, Agency and Adaptation

Document type

Book chapter


Cambridge University Press


  • Political Science


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



Research group

  • Miljöpolitik


  • ISBN: 978-0-521-19011-4