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The Democratic Legitimacy of Orchestration: the UNFCCC, Non-state Actors and Transnational Climate Governance

Bäckstrand, Karin, Jonathan Kuyper. 2017. The Democratic Legitimacy of Orchestration: the UNFCCC, Non-state Actors and Transnational Climate Governance. Environmental Politics, 26(4): 764-788.

Abstract

This article is part of Environmental Politics Special Issue: Non-State Actors in the New Landscape of International Climate Cooperation (Environmental Politics, Volume 26, Number 4, July 2017)

Is orchestration democratically legitimate? On one hand, debates concerning the legitimacy and democratic deficits of international politics continue unabated. On the other, the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has progressively engaged in processes of orchestration culminating in the 2015 Paris Agreement. Scholarship on orchestration has almost exclusively focused on how to ensure effectiveness while excluding normative questions. This lacuna is addressed by arguing that orchestration should be assessed according to its democratic credentials. The promises and pitfalls of orchestration can be usefully analyzed by applying a set of democratic values: participation, deliberation, accountability, and transparency. Two major orchestration efforts by the UNFCCC both pre- and post-Paris are shown to have substantive democratic shortfalls, not least with regard to participation and accountability. Ways of strengthening the democratic legitimacy of orchestration are identified.

The article is available here.

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