The Role of International Organisations in Global Environmental Governance
For this chapter, we have adopted a broad and inclusive definition of international organisation that is nonetheless distinguished from two other types of international institutions, namely what Keohane (1989: 4) describes as institutions with explicit rules (international regimes) and institutions with implicit rules ("conventions"). In contrast, the organisations we study are bureaucratic actors and "purposive entities" which are "capable of monitoring activity and of reacting to it" and have been "deliberately set up and designed by states" (ibid: 3). They include not only fully-fledged 'organisations', but also UN commissions and programmes. Among the plethora of organisations with environment-related activities, we have restricted our analysis to those operating at the global level and have further selected those with either a clear environmental profile or a significant impact on global environmental governance.
In addition to our leitmotif of organisational fragmentation – which evokes the image of a mosaic of institutional elements – we have also taken account of current debates over mainstreaming and sectoralisation. Thus, many of the organisations reviewed in this chapter contain indications of the progress made towards a greater cross-sectoral integration of environmental concerns. For instance, the World Bank or the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) now routinely address environmental factors in their decision-making, albeit with variable sincerity. Such insights feed into our concluding analysis of future trends and perspectives for reforming the system of global environmental organisations. We begin our survey by describing a number of well-known global environmental conferences which provided the seedbed for the steady expansion of international environmental activities.
- Political Science
- Global Governance
- Environmental governance
- United Nations
- United Nations Environment Programme
- International organisation
- World Bank
- climate governance
- Kyoto Protocol
- ISBN: 978-1-85743-377-7
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
- Navigating institutional complexity in global climate governance: causes, consequences and responses (NAVIGOV)
- Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate (BECC)
- Nature of Peace
- Legitimacy in Global Governance
- How Geoengineering Arrived at the Global Agenda