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Institutional Interaction in Global Environmental Governance

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 Sebastian Oberthür and Thomas 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.

The book is available on the internet at MIT Press 
at the price of US$ 28,-. There you will also find free sample chapters for download. 

The book is a result of the project Institutional Interaction sponsored by the European Commission, DG Research.


Oberthür, Sebastian and Thomas Gehring (eds.) 2006: Institutional Interaction in Global Environmental Governance. Synergy and Conflict among International and EU Policies. [Global Environmental Accord: Strategies for Sustainability and Institutional Innovation]. Cambridge/London: The MIT Press.

Beatrice Chaytor
Clare Coffey
Andrew Farmer
Thomas Gehring
John Lanchbery
Alice Palmer
G. Kristin Rosendal
Jon Birger Skjærseth
Olav Schram Stokke
Jacob Werksman
Jørgen Wettestad
0-262-05115-X, 0-262-65110-6
424 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

Foreword by Oran R. Young
List of Abbreviations
1 Introduction - Thomas Gehring and Sebastian Oberthür
2 Conceptual Foundations of Institutional Interaction - Sebastian Oberthür and Thomas Gehring
3 The Climate Change Regime: Interactions with ICAO, IMO, and the EU Burden-Sharing Agreement – Sebastian Oberthür
4 The Convention on Biological Diversity: Tensions with the WTO TRIPS Agreement over Access to Genetic Resources and the Sharing of Benefits - G. Kristin Rosendal
5 Protecting the North-East Atlantic: One Problem, Three Institutions - Jon Birger Skjærseth
6 Institutional Interplay and Responsible Fisheries: Combating Subsidies, Developing Precaution - Olav Schram Stokke and Clare Coffey
7 The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Responding to Calls for Action from Other Nature Conservation Regimes – John Lanchbery
8 Interactions between the World Trade Organization and International Environmental Regimes – Alice Palmer, Beatrice Chaytor and Jacob Werksman
9 Interactions of EU Legal Instruments Establishing Broad Principles of Environmental Management: The Water Framework Directive and the IPPC Directive - Andrew Farmer
10 The EU Habitats Directive: Enhancing Synergy with Pan-European Nature Conservation and with the EU Structural Funds - Clare Coffey
11 The EU Deliberate Release Directive: Environmental Precaution versus Trade and Product Regulation – Ingmar von Homeyer
12 The EU Air Quality Framework Directive: Shaped and Saved by Interaction? - Jørgen Wettestad and Andrew Farmer
13 Comparative Empirical Analysis and Ideal Types of Institutional Interaction - Thomas Gehring and Sebastian Oberthür
Annex: Overview of Identified Cases of Institutional Interaction

international, environment, policy, regime, interaction, global, governance, synergy, conflict, EU, Europe