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Hardcover | $68.00 Short | £46.95 | ISBN: 9780262051156 | 424 pp. | 7 x 9 in | 23 illus.| February 2006
Paperback | $28.00 Short | £19.95 | ISBN: 9780262651103 | 424 pp. | 7 x 9 in | 23 illus.| February 2006

Essential Info

Institutional Interaction in Global Environmental Governance

Synergy and Conflict among International and EU Policies


This systematic investigation of the interaction among international and European institutions provides both a theoretical framework for analysis and the first broad overview of this largely uncharted field of research. By offering detailed case studies and a systematic analysis of results, the book examines the effects of institutional interaction on environmental governance and explores the ways in which international and European Union policies can either reinforce or undercut one another.

After a conceptual overview in which Oberthür and Gehring identify three causal mechanisms by which institutional interaction can affect environmental governance, ten case studies apply this theoretical approach. Six cases use an international institution as their starting point and four begin with a European Union legal instrument. The international regimes examined include the widely known Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and World Trade Organization and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The EU instruments analyzed include lesser-known directives on the protection of habitats, the deliberate release of genetically modified organisms into the environment, and air quality. The studies show that although conflict and interference among different regimes and institutions do take place, synergistic interactions are common. The findings on the importance of, and mechanisms behind, these outcomes offer valuable insights for both scholars and policymakers.

Beatrice Chaytor, Clare Coffey, Andrew Farmer, Thomas Gehring, John Lanchbery, Sebastian Oberthür, Alice Palmer, G. Kristin Rosendal, Jon Birger Skjærseth, Olav Schram Stokke, Ingmar von Homeyer, Jacob Werksman, Jørgen Wettestad

About the Editors

Sebastian Oberthür is Academic Director of the Institute for European Studies at Free University Brussels and the coeditor (with Thomas Gehring) of Institutional Interaction in Global Environmental Governance: Synergy and Conflict among International and EU Policies (MIT Press, 2006)

Thomas Gehring is Professor of International Politics and European Integration at Otto-Friedrich University Bamberg.


"This exciting collection marks a new frontier in the study of global environmental governance: the causal mechanisms associated with institutional interplay. The authors tease out the educational and institutional means by which governance is affected by such interplay, both within environmental arrangements and between environment and political economy."
Peter M. Haas, Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst

"There is new compulsory reading for the international environmental governance community: this groundbreaking collection demonstrates convincingly that we must devote more systematic attention to institutional interaction. In addition, its findings suggest that interplay and overlap among institutions have far more positive potential than the conventional wisdom about proliferating regimes would allow."
Jutta Brunn

"This book is highly recommended to those interested in the significance of international institutions. Not only does it bring the theoretical understanding of institutional interplay a significant step forward; the detailed empirical analysis also allows us to learn much more about its practical significance."
Steinar Andresen, Department of Political Science, University of Oslo

"In the face of growing 'regulatory competition' among international environmental institutions at different levels, and considering the prominence of the EU in this field, an analysis of its interaction with global and other regional institutions is overdue, and addresses an important problem of international governance. The contributions to this volume are original, some of them truly innovative, and the book is likely to have an impact not only on international regime theory but also on the empirical verification of regime effectiveness, and hence could provide useful feedback for future policy and strategy development."
Peter H. Sand, Institute of International Law, University of Munich