Institutional Interaction in Global Environmental Governance

From Global Environmental Accord: Strategies for Sustainability and Institutional Innovation

Institutional Interaction in Global Environmental Governance

Synergy and Conflict among International and EU Policies

Edited by Sebastian Oberthür and Thomas Gehring





This systematic investigation of the interaction among international and European institutions provides both a theoretical framework for analysis and the first broad overview of this largely uncharted field of research. By offering detailed case studies and a systematic analysis of results, the book examines the effects of institutional interaction on environmental governance and explores the ways in which international and European Union policies can either reinforce or undercut one another.After a conceptual overview in which Oberthür and Gehring identify three causal mechanisms by which institutional interaction can affect environmental governance, ten case studies apply this theoretical approach. Six cases use an international institution as their starting point and four begin with a European Union legal instrument. The international regimes examined include the widely known Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and World Trade Organization and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The EU instruments analyzed include lesser-known directives on the protection of habitats, the deliberate release of genetically modified organisms into the environment, and air quality. The studies show that although conflict and interference among different regimes and institutions do take place, synergistic interactions are common. The findings on the importance of, and mechanisms behind, these outcomes offer valuable insights for both scholars and policymakers.

ContributorsBeatrice Chaytor, Clare Coffey, Andrew Farmer, Thomas Gehring, John Lanchbery, Sebastian Oberthür, Alice Palmer, G. Kristin Rosendal, Jon Birger Skjærseth, Olav Schram Stokke, Ingmar von Homeyer, Jacob Werksman, Jørgen Wettestad


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262051156 424 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 23 illus.


$35.00 X ISBN: 9780262651103 424 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 23 illus.


Sebastian Oberthür

Sebastian Oberthür is Academic Director of the Institute for European Studies at Free University Brussels and the coeditor (with Thomas Gehring) of Institutional Interaction in Global Environmental Governance: Synergy and Conflict among International and EU Policies (MIT Press, 2006)

Thomas Gehring

Thomas Gehring is Professor of International Politics and European Integration at Otto-Friedrich University Bamberg.


  • In the face of growing 'regulatory competition' among international environmental institutions at different levels, and considering the prominence of the EU in this field, an analysis of its interaction with global and other regional institutions is overdue, and addresses an important problem of international governance. The contributions to this volume are original, some of them truly innovative, and the book is likely to have an impact not only on international regime theory but also on the empirical verification of regime effectiveness, and hence could provide useful feedback for future policy and strategy development.

    Peter H. Sand

    Institute of International Law, University of Munich