Mapping and Measuring Fragmentation in Global Governance Architectures: A Framework for Analysis
33 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2014
Date Written: August 18, 2014
Over the past 20 years, world politics has become increasingly complex due to a proliferation of institutions, actors, norms, and discourses in global affairs. Lacking overarching organization and hierarchy, governance architectures, i.e. the “overarching system of public and private institutions that are valid or active in a given issue area of world politics” (Biermann et al. 2009, 15), have turned into a patchwork of institutions marked by diversity in terms of character, constituencies, scope, and subject matter resulting in institutional overlaps and gaps, contestation and synergy, integration and fragmentation. While scholars have started to study the dyadic relations among international institutions (Oberthür and Stokke 2011; Oberthür and Gehring 2006) as well as the complex interactions that occur within what Keohane and Victor (2011) have termed “regime complexes”, we currently lack a detailed understanding of the degree of fragmentation across different policy domains.
Hence, to understand the contemporary architecture of global governance, improved mappings of governance structures and appropriate indicators and metrics for measuring degrees of fragmentation are urgently needed. This paper outlines a conceptual and methodological framework for mapping and measuring fragmentation in global governance architectures based on a 2-step approach. First, global governance architectures are mapped to include the key governance arrangements of an issue area. Criteria for inclusion/exclusion of governance arrangements are (a) international and transnational scope, (b) intentionality to steer the behaviour of members, (c) explicit mentioning of governance goal, and (d) identifiable governance functions. Second, four indicators are applied to measure fragmentation: institutional constellations, actor constellations, norm constellations and discourse constellations. The framework can be used to examine the structural properties of global governance architectures and thereby aid further studies on the fundamental drivers and explanatory factors underlying fragmentation of governance.
Keywords: fragmentation, global governance, environment, climate change, fisheries, biodiversity, forestry
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