Institutional Interactions at the Crossroads of Trade and Environment: the Dominance of Liberal Environmentalism?

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This article argues that institutional interactions that cut across the domains of trade and environment are embedded in overarching norms that shape their evolution and impact. In making this argument, it analyzes three cases of such interactions within the climate change and biosafety regime complexes: those relating to trade-related climate policies and measures, forest carbon sinks, and trade in genetically modified organisms. The analysis highlights the dominance of liberal environmentalism (a set of global norms promoting economic efficiency and environmental improvements through market-based mechanisms) in shaping institutional interactions within these regime complexes, even as liberal environmentalism is contested by key actors. This, in turn, has implications for effective management of institutional interlinkages within regime complexes in global environmental governance.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science


  • Institutional theory, International organisations, Biodiversity, Trade and environment, Environmental institutions, climate change, complexity, UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol, CBD, WTO, WTO law, Frame analysis, Discourse analysis, political ecology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-118
JournalGlobal Governance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch

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