The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development: Orchestration by Default and Design

Forthcoming in Global Policy

25 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2014 Last revised: 13 Nov 2014

See all articles by Kenneth W. Abbott

Kenneth W. Abbott

Arizona State University

Steven Bernstein

University of Toronto - Department of Political Science

Date Written: May 30, 2014

Abstract

The High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF) is a central element in the emerging governance architecture for sustainable development. Established at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio 20), the HLPF has a dauntingly expansive mandate, including setting the sustainable development agenda; enhancing integration, coordination and coherence across the UN system and at all levels of governance; and following up on all sustainable development goals and commitments.

Yet it has been granted limited authority and few material resources. In these circumstances, the HLPF must rely on the governance strategy of “orchestration”: working indirectly through intermediary organizations, and using soft modes of influence to support and guide their actions. Indeed, the design of the HLPF suggests that states intended it to pursue this approach. We identify potential intermediaries and techniques of orchestration for the HLPF, and consider whether it can satisfy the conditions for success as an orchestrator.

Keywords: high-level political forum, sustainable development, international governance, orchestration, United Nations, transnational institutions

JEL Classification: K33, O10, Q28

Suggested Citation

Abbott, Kenneth Wayne and Bernstein, Steven, The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development: Orchestration by Default and Design (May 30, 2014). Forthcoming in Global Policy. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2443973 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2443973

Kenneth Wayne Abbott (Contact Author)

Arizona State University ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
480-965-5917 (Phone)

Steven Bernstein

University of Toronto - Department of Political Science ( email )

Sidney Smith Hall
100 St George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G3
Canada

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