Events Calendar
The Cy Frank Legacy Lectureship
September 19, 2019

Empty Institutions In Global Environmental Politics

Monday, November 19, 2018
1:00 pm
Social Science Centre (SSC)
Room: 5220
 Radoslav S.Dimitrov

Empty Institutions In Global Environmental Politics

Presentation by Radoslav S. Dimitrov
Monday, November 19
1pm - SSC 5220

Why are some institutions without policymaking powers? This study documents the efforts by governments to create empty international institutions whose mandates deprive them of any capacity for policy formulation or policy implementation. Examples include the United Nations Forum on Forests, the Copenhagen Accord on Climate Change, and the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. Research is based on participation in twenty-one rounds of environmental negotiations and interviews with diplomats, policymakers and observers.

This presentation introduces the concept of empty institutions, provides evidence from three empirical cases, and discusses their policy ramifications and theoretical implications. Empty institutions serve two political purposes. First, they are political tools for hiding failure at negotiations, by creating the public  impression of policy progress. Second, empty institutions legitimize collective inaction and block international policy. Contrary to theories that assume institutions facilitate governance, these institutions are ‘decoys’ that pre-empt governance.

Such structures fill the institutional space in a given issue area and neutralize calls for genuine policy agreements.

Presented by the Department Of Political Science

If you require information in an alternate format, or if any other arrangements can make this event accessible to you, please contact or 519-661-3266.

Department of Political Science
Department of Political Science
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