Final Research Paper
Master Environment & Resource Management
Fragmentation of Global Governance Architectures
Comparing Climate and Energy Governance through applying the general Framework of “The Fragmentation of Global Governance Architectures: A Framework for Analysis”
The Fragmentation of Global Governance Architectures: A Framework for Analysis 3
Characteristics and Fragmentation of Global Climate Governance Architectures 6
Characteristics and Fragmentation of Global Energy Governance Architectures 8
Global governance architecture refers to the complexity of global governances by the means of its clusters of norms, institutions, principles and regimes of an specific issue area. The term represents the overarching system of public and private institutions that are valid or active in a given issue area of world politics (Biermann, Pattberg, van Asselt, & Zelli, 2009). With rising interconnections global politics on governance levels, it is faced with different interests and structural differences of parties and became therefore a major source of concern for observers and policy-makers (Biermann, Pattberg, van Asselt, & Zelli, 2009).
Energy as well as Climate are both issues of international, global concern described as issue areas. For a theoretical analysis of the degrees of fragmentation in the two different global governance architecture, this paper is using the Framework of “The Fragmentation of Global Governance Architectures: A Framework for Analysis” by Biermann et al.. First, the general framework used will be described as well as the different degrees of fragmentation. Second, the climate as well as the energy global governance architecture will be described by its issue area as well as its characteristics and will then be analysed by its degree of fragmentation through specific examples within the issue area. Finally, the paper will conclude with the differences in the degree of fragmentation of the two governance architectures.
The Fragmentation of Global Governance Architectures: A Framework for Analysis
This paper will use definitions provided by Biermann et al. about fragmentation of global governance architectures. In his paper, he describes global governance architecture as “overarching system of public and private institutions that are valid or active in a given issue area of world politics”, (Biermann, Pattberg, van Asselt, & Zelli, 2009). First, an issue area contains of broad governance goals that define the global governance architecture. The concept of architecture therefore is seen as a tool that allows the comparative analysis of different issue areas (Biermann, Pattberg, van Asselt, & Zelli, 2009). Characteristic for global governance is the diversity in policy domains in international relations that are not dominated by a single international regime, but is conceptualised like a complex knot of international institutions that are different in their character, constituencies, partial scope and subject matter (Biermann, Pattberg, van Asselt, & Zelli, 2009). This complexity of a Global Governance Architecture is defined as the fragmentation of its architecture that can be analysed by the Framework of Fragmentation of Global Governance Architectures.
For the analysis of the degree of fragmentation, Biermann et al. sets three basic rules. First, fragmentation as a concept is relative. In every governance architecture, there will be to some extend fragmentation as it represents subjective connections and differences of governance architectures. Second, he considers definitions of fragmentation and architecture as value-free. Finally, the empirical research on fragmentation of global governance architecture depends on the scale of the issue area and data and information’s captured.
To assess the degree of fragmentation, Biermann is using three criteria to differentiate between degrees of fragmentation. First criterion is the institutional integration within the architecture. This includes the degree of overlaps between decision-making systems. Institutions in this context are “a catch-all word for clusters or collection of rights, rules and, decision-making procedures that give rise to social practices, assign roles to the participants in these practices, and guide interaction among the participants.” (Pattberg, Widerberg, Isailovic, & Dias Guerra, 2014). Second criterion is the degree or existence of norm conflicts between actors and within the architecture of an issue area. In this context, “Norms cover normative frameworks including legal norms and rules. They can be separated into constitutive and regulative where constitutive bears more weight than regulative.” (Pattberg, Widerberg, Isailovic, & Dias Guerra, 2014). Third criterion of Biermann’s framework on fragmentation is the type of actor constellation within the global government architecture. For the definition of the criteria we will use Pattberg’s et al. explanation on actor constellations as: “Governance architectures consist of a myriad of actors and their relations forming actor constellations. These constellations can be international and transnational.” (Pattberg, Widerberg, Isailovic, & Dias Guerra, 2014).
When analysing the degree of fragmentation of a global governance architecture, Biermann et al. differentiated between three broad degrees of fragmentation. First degree is synergistic fragmentation. Criteria for this degree of fragmentation are on the institutional integration the existence of one core institution with other institutions being closed integrated. Core norms will then be provided by the core institution and be integrated among the architecture as all relevant actors support the same institutions. Cooperative Fragmentation is the second degree of fragmentation. It is characterised by core institutions with other institutions that are loosely integrated and have no conflicts regarding their core norms. Within their actor constellation, some actors remain outside main institutions but maintain cooperation’s. Last degree of fragmentation described by Biermann is the conflictive fragmentation. Its architecture is built of different, largely unrelated institutions that have conflictive core norms. Within this architecture, major actors support different institutions resulting in the overall highest degree of fragmentation throughout global governance architectures.
Using these three degrees of fragmentation and their three criteria, the paper will continue with the general analysis of two issue areas and their global governance architectures.
First Global Climate Governance architecture will be described and analysed in terms of its fragmentation. Next to that, this paper will then have a closer look at global energy governance architecture and to what degree fragmentation can be analysed within this architecture. Both analysis will be based on a Literature review of Biermann et al and Pattberg et al. Therefore, both global governance architectures will be analysed based on the three criteria and their degree of fragmentation. For both global governance architecture, this paper will take one specific example within the issue area to construct a comparable empirical, theoretical basis.
Characteristics and Fragmentation of Global Climate Governance Architectures
Within the last decade the concerns about the consequences and impacts of Climate Change were rising exponentially as human everyday life already experiences the first impacts of it.
Climate Change became a global issue are with a global climate governance architecture. As every issue area, also the climate governance is defined by a broad governance goal. In the context of climate governance this can be defined as a governance within a broad and inclusive domain that intends prevent, mitigate and adapt to the risks posed by climate change (Pattberg, Widerberg, Isailovic, & Dias Guerra, 2014). Within the broad governance goal several multilateral agreements were developed towards supporting the general goal, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). To analyse its degree of fragmentation, the three criteria of Biermann et al help to conceptualised the most suitable fragmentation degree.
First, taking a closer look at the institutional integration of the governance architecture, the institutional core is the 19992 UNFCCC, that was ratified by almost all nations (Biermann, Pattberg, van Asselt, & Zelli, 2009). The larger climate convention then resulted in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol which created a new core of the institutional integration as it provides quantified emissions limitations and reduction obligations exclusively for industrialised countries and introduces new institutional mechanisms that even go beyond the UNFCCC and do not apply to all nations included. Furthermore, the institutional core of the Kyoto protocol and its climate regime is surrounded by an increasing number of additional institutional governance arrangements at different levels (Biermann, Pattberg, van Asselt, & Zelli, 2009). Although some initiative explicitly relates to the Kyoto Protocol, they do not particular depend on the protocol such as the European Union emission trading scheme launched in 2005 as another UN-independent initiative. The International Carbon Action Partnership, another initiative that is not formally linked to the UNFCCC but is comprising the European Union and other countries and regions that have created carbon markets through mandatory cap-and-trade systems. Next to those arrangements, the institutional core is also surrounded by public-private partnerships such as Methane to Markets to implement the climate convention.
Moving on to the norm criterion, the Kyoto Protocol shares the basic principles of the UNFCCC that contributes a number of fundamental principles. These include the “ultimate objective” of climate governance to prevent “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” (article 2), the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and a precautionary approach (article 3). In addition, the convention provides for a sizeable international bureaucracy for administrative support, data collection, and policy development, as the organizational nodal point of the governance architecture in this area (Biermann, Pattberg, van Asselt, & Zelli, 2009). As the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol share the same core norms but the Protocol goes further than the UNFCCC, the relationship between the principles of the different institutions is defined as ambiguous as they do not apply to all nations and institutions included (Biermann, Pattberg, van Asselt, & Zelli, 2009).
Third criterion is the actor constellation. Highlighting the relationship between the UNFCCC and the detailed provisioning of its Kyoto Protocol, the Protocol shared the same basic principles but on a larger climate convention. As said above, it included new institutional mechanisms that go beyond the convention and don’t apply for all nations. As the broad goal of the climate governance is the reduction of greenhouse gas emission it still leaves out one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters, the United States. They are part of the convention but not to the protocol. Other actors are also outside the institutional core, such as private-public-partnerships that also attempt to regulate the issue are relevant for climate governance without being part of the core institution, such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (Biermann, Pattberg, van Asselt, & Zelli, 2009).
In sum, the degree of fragmentation most suitable for the global climate governance architecture seems to be a cooperative fragmentation. As it depends on the scale and time analysed as well as the actors involved in the analysis, it is hardly dividable in just one notion of fragmentation. Most likely all three degrees of fragmentation are present at some extend at the same time.
Characteristics and Fragmentation of Global Energy Governance Architectures
As the Global Climate Governance Architecture, also the Global Energy Governance Architecture is directly related to its global issue area with its broad governance goals. The energy domain is different to the climate domain. It is an arrow and exclusive domain that currently lack a political centre and is considered as economic sector (Pattberg, Widerberg, Isailovic, & Dias Guerra, 2014). The domains broad governance goals can be defined as the inclusion of energy affordability and security, clean energy and especially energy efficiency (Pattberg, Widerberg, Isailovic, & Dias Guerra, 2014). As such, the sector is a broad economic market roughly divided by its rare energy forms and uses. Compared with Climate, the Energy Domain is in its widest terms about a joint specific product with features of both a private and a public good (Hughes & Lipscy, 2013).
Analysing its institutional integration, the energy sector will be analysed as the economic sector it refers to. Three core types of institutions can be classified within the energy sector due to their energy source, enforcement mechanism and function (Goldthau & Witte, 2010). The first type of institutions are those that are designed to correct market failures such as the International Energy Agency (IEA). As reaction to the oil price shocks 1973-74, major energy consuming nations established the IEA as source of energy market statistics and to introduce distinct rules for mechanisms of short-term supply management like the mandatory emergency oil reserves. Second type of institutions are institutions designed to lower transaction costs such as the International Energy Forum (IEF) which is promoting informal dialogues for higher transparency (Goldthau & Witte, 2010). Third type of institutions are designed to set rules and standards for the market exchange by prescribing, encouraging or containing behaviours on the market participant side, such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) (Goldthau & Witte, 2010). Therefore three types of institutions act within the domain. Comparing the different institutions no one institution can clearly be seen as a core institution as the most general relationship between them is the trade of energy and by that establishing the depended problem of institutions.
For identifying the most suitable degree of fragmentation, we then have a look at the norms within the issue area. Most common norms and regulations are governed through tariffs and subsidies of different energy sources set by domestic governments to steer the sector with economic mechanisms. As those norms differ by source of energy and country and over time, like the recent subsides on renewable energies to higher incentives for investors, there are no constant overall norms that can be evenly applied for all source at the same measure. Also depending on the markets, different firms providing energy will have different preferences concerning the regulation of trade and investment of energy markets (Hughes & Lipscy, 2013). Energy security plays a huge role in rule setting and policy making (Hughes & Lipscy, 2013). As described by Hughes & Lipscy, (2013), governments have their own depended set of interests in the energy sector but are forced to negotiate with the other interest groups in designing and implementing policy. Therefore the analysis of the energy government sector on global level shows that next to domestic energy social forces like demand and supply, there are also subnational actors with interest in the energy market. Another global rule framework can be seen in the context of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the Energy Charter Treaty, both setting energy-specific rules to energy trade. Comparing those rules set, like favouring fossil resources over renewables or the high subsidies on fossil fuels mostly run counter-wise to those of UN initiatives promoting and supporting the rise of renewable energies (Goldthau & Witte, 2010). In sum, the norms within the energy domain differ in domestic and international scale as with rising influence of the interests of other actors in the demand and supply of energy even contradictory norms to those of UN initiatives occur.
Taking a closer look on Actors (individuals, interest groups, divided by resource etc.) within the issue are of the energy domain, the complexity of actors within the domain differs from domestic to international scale and source of energy. Taking into account the economic character of the domain, overall every individual and its rest group that has a stake in energy policy because of their involvement in the production or consumption of energy is part of the complex actor constellation. With the increase of energy consumption and interest in energy security all over the world, the complexity of the domain is rising. Analysing the key actors of the economic trade, therefore suppliers and consumers, it is obvious that through the dependency problem (Hughes & Lipscy, 2013), suppliers (OECD) generate a greater influence on domestic policies in supplying states. On the other hand, consumers, mostly represented by the IEA, and importing countries have therefore a higher interest in the opposite. Therefore, the analysis of the energy government sector on global level shows that next to domestic energy social forces like demand and supply, there are also subnational actors with interest in the energy market. Firms that have a large international presence (…) are less likely to support barriers to trade and investment (Hughes & Lipscy, 2013). Another actor is distributed through international cooperation’s that became more intertwined with the concerns about the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the earth’s climate. In sum, the complex systems of actors within the sector on a global basis reflects a negotiation space, where each actor is acting in their own economic or/and social interest. Actors are roughly connected by their interests in energy security and the economic trades of energy.
Summing up, based on the general empirical analysis, the most suitable degree of fragmentation of the global energy governance architecture would be represented by the conflictive fragmentation, whereas different institutions are hardly connected and/or have different, unrelated decision-making procedures and a conflicting set of norms and are driven by actor coalitions that accept, or even advance these conflicts.
Comparing both global governance architectures within the framework of fragmentation, with the complexity of global governance architectures it is hard to clearly set the line between different degrees of fragmentation. Theoretically both governance architectures implicate all three degrees of fragmentation in some extend. This paper concluded the most suitable degree of fragmentation for the individual issue areas by a general literature review.
Through identifying the three criteria of the fragmentation, the global climate governance architecture shows most of cooperative fragmentations within its issue area. Significantly for this type of fragmentation is the core institution of the Kyoto protocol as it sets a rough guideline for the actor constellation that is not conflicting with other norms or rules. Compared with the global energy governance architecture, the complexity does not generate a core institution within the issue area and even further, with rising complexity because of its interest area, the actor constellation rises and generates no direct linkages because of the intention of the interest groups to even seek to position their actors in a specific way (Pattberg, Widerberg, Isailovic, & Dias Guerra, 2014).
Degrees of fragmentation are value-free and therefore no degree of fragmentation is neither good or bad, but they are likely to show different degrees of governance performance (Biermann, Pattberg, van Asselt, & Zelli, 2009). Generally, more integrated governance architectures may promise a higher effectiveness in reaching the broad governance goals (Biermann, Pattberg, van Asselt, & Zelli, 2009).