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Institutional complexity and private authority in global climate governance : The cases of climate engineering, REDD+, and short-lived climate pollutants

  • Fariborz Zelli
  • Ina Möller
  • Harro van Asselt
Publishing year: 2017
Language: English
Publication/Series: Environmental Politics
Volume: 26
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Abstract english

How and why do institutional architectures, and the roles of private institutions therein, differ across separate areas of climate governance? Here, institutional complexity is explained in terms of the problem-structural characteristics of an issue area and the associated demand for, and supply of, private authority. These characteristics can help explain the degree of centrality of intergovernmental institutions, as well as the distribution of governance functions between these and private governance institutions. This framework is applied to three emerging areas of climate governance: reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), and climate engineering. Conflicts over means and values, as well as over relatively and absolutely assessed goods, lead to considerable variations in the emergence and roles of private institutions across these three cases.


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • complexity
  • Climate change
  • REDD+
  • Geoengineering
  • pollutants
  • International organisation
  • Institutional Teory
  • Climate governance
  • institutional analysis
  • fragmentation
  • global governance
  • Sustainable development


  • ISSN: 0964-4016
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