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Adaptation or innovation? The effectiveness of global environmental regimes

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Thesis type
(Research Project) M.A.
Date created
The growing importance of the discourse on climate change raises some interesting questions regarding the creation and evaluation of international regimes. When is a regime effective? Through analyzing two competing approaches to evaluating regimes, the instrumentalists and critical theorists, this project shows the deficiencies in the current discourse. Instrumentalists focus on observable means-ends standards of efficiency, while critical theorists ask fundamental questions regarding intersubjectivity. Influenced by both of these schools of thought, this project develops an analytical framework for evaluating regimes that differentiates between different sources/levels of change (regulative, normative, and cognitive) and types of change (adaptation and innovation).When this framework is applied to the cases of the Ozone regime and the Climate Change regime, interesting counter-intuitive findings emerge that offer alternative evaluative criteria for considering the effectiveness of global environmental regimes.
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