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Oran R. Young

Oran R. Young is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Institutional Dynamics: Emergent Patterns in International Environmental Governance (MIT Press) and other books.

Titles by This Author

Social Capital for the Anthropocene

The onset of the Anthropocene, an era in which human actions have become major drivers of change on a planetary scale, has increased the complexity of socioecological systems. Complex systems pose novel challenges for governance because of their high levels of connectivity, nonlinear dynamics, directional patterns of change, and emergent properties. Meeting these challenges will require the development of new intellectual capital.

Emergent Patterns in International Environmental Governance

International environmental regimes--institutional arrangements that govern human-environmental interactions--are dynamic, changing continuously over time. Some regimes go from strength to strength, becoming more effective over the years, while others seem stymied from the beginning. Some regimes start strong, then decline; others are ineffective at first but become successful with the passage of time. In Institutional Dynamics, Oran Young offers the first detailed analysis of these developmental trajectories.

From Case Study to Database

Regime theory has become an increasingly influential approach to the analysis of international relations, particularly in the areas of international political economy and international environmental politics. The conceptual appeal of the idea of "governance without government"—in which a combination of different organizations and institutions supply governance to address specific problems—reflects a world in which the demand for governance is great but the familiar mechanisms for supplying it are weak.

Fit, Interplay, and Scale

Researchers studying the role institutions play in causing and confronting environmental change use a variety of concepts and methods that make it difficult to compare their findings. Seeking to remedy this problem, Oran Young takes the analytic themes identified in the Institutional Dimensions of Global Environmental Change (IDGEC) Science Plan as cutting-edge research concerns and develops them into a common structure for conducting research.

Titles by This Editor

Principal Findings, Applications, and Research Frontiers

Studies show that institutions play a role both in causing and in addressing problems arising from human-environment interactions. But the nature of this role is complex and not easily described. This book presents an overview of recent research on how institutions matter in efforts to tackle such environmental problems as the loss of biological diversity, the degradation of forests, and the overarching issue of climate change. Using the tools of the “new institutionalism” in the social sciences, the book treats institutions as sets of rights, rules, and decision-making procedures.

Causal Connections and Behavioral Mechanisms
Edited by Oran R. Young

To be effective, an international regime must play a significant role in solving or at least managing the problem that led to its creation. But because regimes--social institutions composed of roles, rules, and relationships--are not actors in their own right, they can succeed only by influencing the behavior of their members or actors operating under their members' jurisdiction.This book examines how regimes influence the behavior of their members and those associated with them.

Drawing Insights from the Environmental Experience
Edited by Oran R. Young

Much of our experience with innovative approaches to governance at the international level involves natural resources and the environment. Whereas the Cold War bred an intense concern with the preservation of existing institutions, the emerging environmental agenda has prompted an awareness of the need for new arrangements to achieve sustainable human/environment relations.