The Fragmentation of Global Climate Governance
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The Fragmentation of Global Climate Governance

Consequences and Management of Regime Interactions

Harro van Asselt

‘How do the different international institutions addressing climate change interact? What are the actual and potential synergies and conflicts? What are the most effective strategies to manage institutional interplay? Harro van Asselt’s expertise in both international law and international relations, as well as his intimate knowledge of the policy-making process, make him ideally equipped to address these fundamental questions. Based on detailed case studies, he provides a wide-ranging, lucid, and theoretically sophisticated study of climate change governance. Essential reading for international lawyers and international relations scholars alike.’ – Dan Bodansky, Arizona State University, US
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Chapter 5: Management of regime interactions

Harro van Asselt


Once it has been established that two regimes are, or may be, in conflict, or when there are potential synergies to be captured, interaction management could address conflicts or enhance synergies. But how should this be achieved? And who should take on this challenge? This chapter explores these questions, first, by highlighting available strategies for the management of interactions. It provides an overview of different types of interaction management, and then introduces the main distinction of legal and political approaches to interaction management. This is followed by a discussion of various actors that are, or may be, involved in interaction management. These include notably actors within the interacting regimes. However, under the heading of 'autonomous interaction management' the chapter discusses the role that state and non-state actors can play in managing regime interactions. Lastly, it contains an indication of how to determine the success of types of interaction management. Interaction management has been defined by Sebastian Oberthür as 'deliberate efforts by any relevant actor, group of actors, in whatever form or forum to address and improve institutional interaction and its effects'. This very broad definition hints at a wide variety of approaches for managing interactions. First, Oberthür identifies four levels of management. The highest level, overarching institutional frameworks, involves management going beyond the individual interacting regimes. Joint interaction management, in contrast, involves both interacting regimes, whereas unilateral management takes place by one regime only.

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