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Constructed peer groups and path dependence in international organizations: The case of the international climate change negotiations


Castro, Paula; Hörnlein, Lena; Michaelowa, Katharina (2014). Constructed peer groups and path dependence in international organizations: The case of the international climate change negotiations. Global Environmental Change, 25:109-120.

Abstract

International organizations sometimes institutionalize country groupings by specifying differentiated commitments that may, in turn, affect negotiation dynamics. Drawing on incentive-based and socialization arguments, we develop a “constructed peer group” hypothesis suggesting that by creating these groups those organizations may actually construct new lines of confrontation over and above the substance-based disagreements existing between countries. This generates a particular type of path dependence, rendering broad-based international agreements more difficult in the future.
We analyze this question at the example of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's increasingly politicized split between Annex I and non-Annex I countries. Using a self-coded dataset of country oral statements during the negotiations between December 2007 and December 2009 we assess whether Annex I membership influences a country's stance toward other countries’ arguments, while controlling for country characteristics that may drive their preferences and the affiliation to Annex I. We find that the split between Annex I and non-Annex I has indeed influenced negotiation behavior and amplified the divide between developing and industrialized countries in the climate negotiations.

Abstract

International organizations sometimes institutionalize country groupings by specifying differentiated commitments that may, in turn, affect negotiation dynamics. Drawing on incentive-based and socialization arguments, we develop a “constructed peer group” hypothesis suggesting that by creating these groups those organizations may actually construct new lines of confrontation over and above the substance-based disagreements existing between countries. This generates a particular type of path dependence, rendering broad-based international agreements more difficult in the future.
We analyze this question at the example of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's increasingly politicized split between Annex I and non-Annex I countries. Using a self-coded dataset of country oral statements during the negotiations between December 2007 and December 2009 we assess whether Annex I membership influences a country's stance toward other countries’ arguments, while controlling for country characteristics that may drive their preferences and the affiliation to Annex I. We find that the split between Annex I and non-Annex I has indeed influenced negotiation behavior and amplified the divide between developing and industrialized countries in the climate negotiations.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Climate change, UNFCCC, Regime design, International negotiations, Multilateral environmental agreements, Differential treatment
Language:English
Date:March 2014
Deposited On:13 Nov 2014 11:59
Last Modified:14 Feb 2018 21:56
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0959-3780
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.01.007
Official URL:http://ac.els-cdn.com/S0959378014000107/1-s2.0-S0959378014000107-main.pdf?_tid=6c8260de-6b1c-11e4-b10b-00000aacb360&acdnat=1415873235_f2821d8c69c1e8fa0cecf72ef8aaba2c
Related URLs:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09593780/2

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