skip to Main Content

Regime Complexes, Critical Actors and Institutional Layering

Rabitz, Florian. 2016. Regime Complexes, Critical Actors and Institutional Layering. Journal of International Relations and Development, . Online first

Abstract

While regime complexes, sets of overlapping institutions governing a common issue area, are frequently characterised by stable interinstitutional divisions of labour and incremental change, actor-centred approaches emphasise potentially disruptive cross-institutional strategies. I propose a conceptual framework highlighting the constraints under which states operate within regime complexes, focusing on the role of critical actors that cannot effectively be excluded from cooperation because of their contributions to international public goods and/or negative externalities that their non-participation would generate for cooperating states. Where such actors pursue conservative policy objectives, reformist actors have limited scope for employing cross-institutional strategies and cooperating through alternative club settings. This leads to incremental institutional change as those latter actors attempt to elaborate and develop pre-existing rules instead of creating new ones. I demonstrate the explanatory power of this approach for the formation of three Access and Benefit-sharing regimes within the Genetic Resources regime complex.

Recent publications

Assessing the effectiveness of orchestrated climate action from five years of summits
Five years of climate action and summitry have taught us valuable lessons. Orchestrators of climate action can positively influence performance by setting minimum requirements for credibility and robustness among the initiatives they engage.
Transforming Biodiversity Governance
Edited by Ingrid J. Visseren-Hamakers, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Marcel T. J. Kok, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
2021 Annual Report
The Earth System Governance Project seeks to mobilise and advance scholarship at the interface between global environmental change and governance. Discover how by learning more about the project in this summary of 2021!