Features Of Institutional Bargaining Approach Politics

Essay add: 28-10-2015, 16:26   /   Views: 285

The birth of the concept of institutional bargain approach stems from the work of Oran R. Youngs criticism on the current rationalist and cognitivist approaches to define the regime formation. [] Schools of thought of the realist or neorealist highlights 'the existence of the dominant actors or hegemons possessing structural powers is a necessary condition for international regime formation or maintenance.' [] In the other hand, the liberal-institutionalism stresses that 'a sizable number of self-interested states would coordinate their behaviours to maximize absolute gains by devising mutually beneficial institutional arrangements reducing transaction costs.' [] The cognitive theorist underlines that 'it is the role of cognitive factors that influence the regime formation.' [] 

Literature Review

The process of negotiations in climate change poses huge diplomatic and legal challenges to international community. The complexity of the climate change negotiations especially its dependence on science for political decisions have produced two set of perspectives at the negotiations; these are the countries of the view that they 'would do something' to the problem and other countries of the view that 'would not do something' to the problem. Most importantly, climate change negotiations has a unique political dynamic. Power at these negotiations does not derive simply from the size of the economy, but it derives from the fact that how much the country is emitting Greenhouse gases. The countries that pollute the environment hold the most bigger bargaining power. This paradigm poses a huge obstacle to reach a balanced outcome at the climate change negotiations. The book by William Marson (2011) [] highlights the flaws of the climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, stating that ' group of elite polluters: the United States, the European Union and China have chips to deal and so they rule the game'. The other barrier in ensuring a transparent negotiation lies on the issue of a paradigm shift in the environmental politics. The book by Pamela S. Chasek, David L. Brownie, Janet Welsh Brown (2010) [] highlights that the paradigm shift in environmental politics has given rise to the participation of various actors in international environment negotiations and has drawn the climate change issue from dominant socio economic paradigm to the rise of alternative paradigm, in some cases making the problem of climate change a security issue. A collection of articles on the concept of equity [] written by climate change negotiating experts of the BASIC [] countries state the importance of having equitable access to atmospheric space and actions needed in mitigation and adaptation to come up with a long term global goal.

In addition, Steve Vanderheiden ( 2008) [] aims at presenting the negotiations of the climate change as revisiting norms such as fairness, equity and atmospheric justice. According to Vanderheiden, it is imperative to address the climate change negotiations in a manner that promotes fairness based on the ideals of equity and national responsibility has practical and principle justification. Dieter Helm and Cameron Hepburn (2009) [] highlights that despite the acceleration of research and scientific explorations on climate change, the policy formation in climate change still disconnected with the findings of science and explains as to why this disconnect prevails. Dieter Helm, analysing the pros and cons of the existing international regimes on climate change highlights also disparity between the share of responsibility in the mitigation efforts between the developing and developed countries and states that unless all the countries are shouldering the responsibility in terms of mitigation, any future agreement in this regard will not be effective.

With regard to the process of negotiation from Bali to Copenhagen, books by Abdrew E Dessler and Edward A. Parson ( 2006) [] and a collection of articles in Political Theory and Global Climate Change by John Barry (2008) [] and Negotiation capacity and strategies of Developing countries by Pamela Chesak and LavanyaRajamani ( UNDP report on Global Public Goods 2003) [] and a UNDP report on sustaining human progress in a changing climate (2012) [] present the argument of the disadvantages faced by the developing countries in international environment negotiations as they are being underrepresented or unrepresented at the key decision making moments. Even more so, an in depth analysis by Pamela S. Chasek in her book [] on 30 years long negotiations on the Earth highlights the realpolitik of the environment negotiation and the reasons as to why an agreement is not feasible in the near future.

In addition, on the academic literatures, the theoretical framework presented by Young highlights most of the issue as he has been carrying out lot of research and studies on the governance of natural resources and regime formation on same and also through his intervention of the 'institutional bargaining' approach. In his book in 1989 [] , he has made an effort to explain the possibility of applying the international regimes and international institutions to address the problem of international coorperation on natural resources and environment. Also, another book by Young in 1994 [] is re-examines the basic issues focusing the distinction between governance systems and governments. Apart from regime formation it deals with the flaws of the international governance system and also it reaffirms the emergence of the concept of institutional bargaining as a method to create international regimes. In his books, Young (2002 [] and 2010 [] ), says that the climate change regime which us been created and in the process of being created does not account the nature of the problem, thus there is a mismatch between the character of the regimes created to address the nature of the problem.

Thus so far, the materials that have been referring to however, does not approach the process of negotiation through the lens of the developing countries which are not major emitters. For example, those countries which did not allow the Copenhagen Accord to be adopted at the Copenhagen climate conference, are not the major emitters nor they were financially powerful. They were belonging to an economic block in the Latin American continent and to the Small Island Developing States. Most of them were poor countries with least economic and political standing in the world affairs. Then how did Copenhagen go wrong and what was the reason for hundreds of other nations to rally around this small group of countries with weak or no economic power? According to the institutional bargain theory, it could be because of the power of transnational alliances as well as the breaking of the consensus rule. Through the theoretical analysis, this paper will examine the reasons for a small group of countries to win the climate battle without allowing it to divert the years long negotiations to fail. It also aims at examining the different tactics and strategies by major emitters in terms promising much and committing little and thereby utilizing the process of negotiation to produce yet again an international agreement which has taken into account the concerns of the most vulnerable and badly affected by the problem.

Features of Institutional Bargaining Approach

Critics of realism, neorealism and neoliberalism often states that these theories base their assumption on the same flaws and dynamics thus does not pay much attention to the process of

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