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Assessing EU Leadership on Climate Change - The Limits of Diffusion in EU Relations with China and India

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  • Diarmuid Torney

Abstract

The EU has for a long time claimed the title of leader in the international politics of climate change. However, existing research has generally failed to specify whether the EU’s purported leadership has induced the followership of other states. This working paper seeks to shed light on this somewhat neglected topic by examining the attempted diffusion of climate change norms, policies, and institutions by the EU to China and India. The paper makes two principal arguments. First, the development of Chinese and Indian climate change policy should be understood as primarily domestic developments. Nonetheless, there was limited evidence of diffusion from the EU, but there was significant variation between the Chinese and Indian responses to the EU’s diffusion attempts. The Chinese response was one increasing accommodation; the Indian response was a more straightforward case of resistance. Second, domestic factors help to explain the variation in the Chinese and Indian responses to EU attempts at diffusion and, related, the observed pattern of diffusion from the EU to China and India. Particularly important is the degree to which new external ideas and concepts resonate with pre-existing domestic ideas and concepts. The paper thus paints a picture of limited EU leadership, but also suggests that the EU attempts to secure followership could be enhanced by paying greater attention to the domestic politics and preferences of third countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Diarmuid Torney, 2012. "Assessing EU Leadership on Climate Change - The Limits of Diffusion in EU Relations with China and India," KFG Working Papers p0046, Free University Berlin.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:kfgxxx:p0046
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    File URL: http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/kfgeu/kfgwp/wpseries/WorkingPaperKFG_46.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Checkel, Jeffrey T., 2005. "International Institutions and Socialization in Europe: Introduction and Framework," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(04), pages 801-826, October.
    2. Joyeeta Gupta & Nicolien van der Grijp, 1999. "Leadership in the climate change regime: the European Union in the looking glass," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(2), pages 303-322.
    3. Haas, Peter M., 1992. "Introduction: epistemic communities and international policy coordination," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(01), pages 1-35, December.
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    1. repec:wsi:cjuesx:v:02:y:2014:i:01:n:s2345748114500031 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    regulations; environmental policy; EU-China; international relations;

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