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Orchestration and transnational climate governance


  • Thomas Hale


  • Charles Roger



With multilateral efforts to mitigate climate change in gridlock, attention has turned to transnational climate governance initiatives, through which sub- and non-state actors seek to reduce greenhouse gases. These initiatives include networks of cities committed to lowering their carbon footprints, voluntary corporate reduction targets and disclosure processes, and many of the rules that govern carbon markets. The paper considers the role of “traditional” actors in world politics—states and intergovernmental organizations—in orchestrating such initiatives. This strategy accounts for nearly a third of transnational climate governance initiatives, we find, and upends the conventional dichotomy between “top down” and “bottom up” solutions to global collective action problems. We develop a theory to explain when states and intergovernmental organizations are likely to engage in orchestration, and we provide initial support for this theory with a new dataset of transnational climate governance initiatives and case studies of two of the most active orchestrators, the World Bank and the United Kingdom. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Hale & Charles Roger, 2014. "Orchestration and transnational climate governance," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 59-82, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:revint:v:9:y:2014:i:1:p:59-82
    DOI: 10.1007/s11558-013-9174-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert Falkner & Hannes Stephan & John Vogler, 2010. "International climate policy after Copenhagen: towards a �building blocks� approach," GRI Working Papers 21, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:80:y:1986:i:01:p:3-15_18 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Taedong Lee, 2013. "Global Cities and Transnational Climate Change Networks," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 13(1), pages 108-127, February.
    4. Jessica F. Green, 2013. "Order out of Chaos: Public and Private Rules for Managing Carbon," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 13(2), pages 1-25, May.
    5. Kenneth Abbott & Duncan Snidal, 2010. "International regulation without international government: Improving IO performance through orchestration," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 315-344, September.
    6. Liliana B. Andonova & Michele M. Betsill & Harriet Bulkeley, 2009. "Transnational Climate Governance," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 9(2), pages 52-73, May.
    7. Nielson, Daniel L. & Tierney, Michael J., 2003. "Delegation to International Organizations: Agency Theory and World Bank Environmental Reform," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(02), pages 241-276, March.
    8. Gilpin, Robert, 1971. "The Politics of Transnational Economic Relations," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(03), pages 398-419, June.
    9. Philipp Pattberg & Johannes Stripple, 2008. "Beyond the public and private divide: remapping transnational climate governance in the 21st century," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 367-388, December.
    10. Liliana B. Andonova, 2010. "Public-Private Partnerships for the Earth: Politics and Patterns of Hybrid Authority in the Multilateral System," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 10(2), pages 25-53, May.
    11. Hafner-Burton, Emilie M. & Kahler, Miles & Montgomery, Alexander H., 2009. "Network Analysis for International Relations," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(03), pages 559-592, July.
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    1. repec:nam:befdwp:9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:tpr:glenvp:v:17:y:2017:i:2:p:45-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Howard, Rebecca Joy & Tallontire, Anne & Stringer, Lindsay & Marchant, Rob, 2015. "Unraveling the Notion of “Fair Carbon”: Key Challenges for Standards Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 343-356.
    4. Emilie Bécault & Axel Marx, 2015. "International Climate Finance to developing countries. Taking stock of the variety of bilateral, private and hybrid financing initiatives," BeFinD Working Papers 0109, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
    5. Achim Hagen & Leonhard Kaehler & Klaus Eisenack, 2016. "Transnational Environmental Agreements with Heterogeneous Actors," Working Papers V-387-16, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2016.
    6. repec:spr:climat:v:142:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10584-017-1957-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:spr:ieaple:v:18:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10784-018-9384-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Michelle Betsill & Navroz K. Dubash & Matthew Paterson & Harro van Asselt & Antto Vihma & Harald Winkler, 2015. "Building Productive Links between the UNFCCC and the Broader Global Climate Governance Landscape," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 15(2), pages 1-10, May.
    9. repec:spr:climat:v:144:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10584-015-1481-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:bla:glopol:v:8:y:2017:i:3:p:285-293 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:tpr:glenvp:v:17:y:2017:i:2:p:21-44 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Climate policy; Transnational governance; International organizations; Orchestration; Environmental politics; Q54;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming


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