Implementing Multilateral Environmental Agreements: An Analysis of EU Directives

Global Environmental Politics, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 13-31, 2007

49 Pages Posted: 3 May 2006 Last revised: 15 Jun 2010

See all articles by Richard Perkins

Richard Perkins

London School of Economics - Department of Geography and Environment

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: April 1, 2007

Abstract

While a number of different theoretical models have been advanced to explain why states implement, or indeed, do not implement, multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), very little empirical work has been undertaken to validate their predications. With a view to narrowing this gap, the present paper adopts a large-N, econometric approach to test the explanatory power of four distinct models of compliance - domestic adjustment, reputational, constructivist and managerial - in the context of European Union (EU) environmental policy. Using data on the number of official infringements received by 15 member states for non-implementation of environmental directives over the period 1979-2000, we find that all four models contribute statistically significantly to explaining spatio-temporal differences in legal implementation. Thus, our results suggest that the implementation of MEAs is shaped by a combination of rational calculations of domestic compliance costs and reputational damage, domestically institutionalized normative obligations, and legal and political constraints. We conclude by suggesting a greater need for multi-causal theoretical models of supranational legal compliance.

Suggested Citation

Perkins, Richard and Neumayer, Eric, Implementing Multilateral Environmental Agreements: An Analysis of EU Directives (April 1, 2007). Global Environmental Politics, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 13-31, 2007 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=899283

Richard Perkins (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Department of Geography and Environment ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 207 955 7598 (Phone)
+44 207 955 7412 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/neumayer

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