Frank Biermann

Frank Biermann is Research Professor of Global Sustainability Governance with the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University and the author of Earth System Governance: World Politics in the Anthropocene (MIT Press).

  • Governing through Goals

    Governing through Goals

    Sustainable Development Goals as Governance Innovation

    Norichika Kanie and Frank Biermann

    A detailed examination of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and the shift in governance strategy they represent.

    In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Goals built on and broadened the earlier Millennium Development Goals, but they also signaled a larger shift in governance strategies. The seventeen goals add detailed content to the concept of sustainable development, identify specific targets for each goal, and help frame a broader, more coherent, and transformative 2030 agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals aim to build a universal, integrated framework for action that reflects the economic, social, and planetary complexities of the twenty-first century.

    This book examines in detail the core characteristics of goal setting, asking when it is an appropriate governance strategy and how it differs from other approaches; analyzes the conditions under which a goal-oriented agenda can enable progress toward desired ends; and considers the practical challenges in implementation.

    Contributors Dora Almassy, Steinar Andresen, Noura Bakkour, Steven Bernstein, Frank Biermann, Thierry Giordano, Aarti Gupta, Joyeeta Gupta, Peter M. Haas, Masahiko Iguchi, Norichika Kanie, Rakhyun E. Kim  Marcel Kok, Kanako Morita, Måns Nilsson, László Pintér, Michelle Scobie, Noriko Shimizu, Casey Stevens, Arild Underdal, Tancrède Voituriez, Takahiro Yamada, Oran R. Young

    • Hardcover $90.00 £70.00
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  • Earth System Governance

    Earth System Governance

    World Politics in the Anthropocene

    Frank Biermann

    A new model for effective global environmental governance in an era of human-caused planetary transformation and disruption.

    Humans are no longer spectators who need to adapt to their natural environment. Our impact on the earth has caused changes that are outside the range of natural variability and are equivalent to such major geological disruptions as ice ages. Some scientists argue that we have entered a new epoch in planetary history: the Anthropocene. In such an era of planet-wide transformation, we need a new model for planet-wide environmental politics. In this book, Frank Biermann proposes “earth system” governance as just such a new paradigm.

    Biermann offers both analytical and normative perspectives. He provides detailed analysis of global environmental politics in terms of five dimensions of effective governance: agency, particularly agency beyond that of state actors; architecture of governance, from local to global levels; accountability and legitimacy; equitable allocation of resources; and adaptiveness of governance systems. Biermann goes on to offer a wide range of policy proposals for future environmental governance and a revitalized United Nations, including the establishment of a World Environment Organization and a UN Sustainable Development Council, new mechanisms for strengthened representation of civil society and scientists in global decision making, innovative systems of qualified majority voting in multilateral negotiations, and novel institutions to protect those impacted by global change. Drawing on ten years of research, Biermann formulates earth system governance as an empirical reality and a political necessity.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
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  • Global Environmental Governance Reconsidered

    Global Environmental Governance Reconsidered

    Frank Biermann and Philipp Pattberg

    An examination of three major trends in global governance, exemplified by developments in transnational environmental rule-setting.

    The notion of global governance is widely studied in academia and increasingly relevant to politics and policy making. Yet many of its fundamental elements remain unclear in both theory and practice. This book offers a fresh perspective by analyzing global governance in terms of three major trends, as exemplified by developments in global sustainability governance: the emergence of nonstate actors; new mechanisms of transnational cooperation; and increasingly segmented and overlapping layers of authority.

    The book, which is the synthesis of a ten-year “Global Governance Project” carried out by thirteen leading European research institutions, first examines new nonstate actors, focusing on international bureaucracies, global corporations, and transnational networks of scientists; then investigates novel mechanisms of global governance, particularly transnational environmental regimes, public-private partnerships, and market-based arrangements; and, finally, looks at fragmentation of authority, both vertically among supranational, international, national, and subnational layers, and horizontally among different parallel rule-making systems.

    The implications, potential, and realities of global environmental governance are defining questions for our generation. This book distills key insights from the past and outlines the most important research challenges for the future.

    • Hardcover $50.00 £34.95
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  • Managers of Global Change

    Managers of Global Change

    The Influence of International Environmental Bureaucracies

    Frank Biermann and Bernd Siebenhüner

    An examination of the role and relevance of international bureaucracies in global environmental governance.

    International bureaucracies—highly visible, far-reaching actors of global governance in areas that range from finance to the environment—are often derided as ineffective, inefficient, and unresponsive. Yet despite their prominence in many debates on world politics, little scholarly attention has been given to their actual influence in recent years. Managers of Global Change fills this gap, offering conceptual analysis and case studies of the role and relevance of international bureaucracies in the area of environmental governance—one of the most institutionally dynamic areas of world politics. The book seeks to resolve a puzzling disparity: although most international bureaucracies resemble each other in terms of their institutional and legal settings (their mandate, the countries to which they report, their general function), the roles they play and their actual influence vary greatly. The chapters investigate the type and degree of influence that international environmental bureaucracies exert and whether external or internal factors account for variations. After a discussion of theoretical context, research design, and empirical methodology, the book presents nine in-depth case studies of bureaucracies ranging from the environment department of the World Bank to the United Nations' climate and desertification secretariats. Managers of Global Change points the way to a better understanding of the role of international bureaucracies, which could improve the legitimacy of global decision making and resolve policy debates about the reform of the United Nations and other bodies.

    • Hardcover $12.75 £9.99
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Contributor

  • Global Environmental Governance and the Accountability Trap

    Global Environmental Governance and the Accountability Trap

    Susan Park and Teresa Kramarz

    An examination of whether accountability mechanisms in global environmental governance that focus on monitoring and enforcement necessarily lead to better governance and better environmental outcomes.

    The rapid development of global environmental governance has been accompanied by questions of accountability. Efforts to address what has been called “a culture of unaccountability” include greater transparency, public justification for governance decisions, and the establishment of monitoring and enforcement procedures. And yet, as this volume shows, these can lead to an “accountability trap”—a focus on accountability measures rather than improved environmental outcomes. Through analyses and case studies, the contributors consider how accountability is being used within global environmental governance and if the proliferation of accountability tools enables governance to better address global environmental deterioration. Examining public, private, voluntary, and hybrid types of global environmental governance, the volume shows that the different governance goals of the various actors shape the accompanying accountability processes. These goals—from serving constituents to reaping economic benefits—determine to whom and for what the actors must account.

    After laying out a theoretical framework for its analyses, the book addresses governance in the key areas of climate change, biodiversity, fisheries, and trade and global value chains. The contributors find that normative biases shape accountability processes, and they explore the potential of feedback mechanisms between institutions and accountability rules for enabling better governance and better environmental outcomes.

    Contributors Graeme Auld, Harro van Asselt, Cristina Balboa, Lieke Brouwer, Lorraine Elliott, Lars H. Gulbrandsen, Aarti Gupta, Teresa Kramarz, Susan Park, Philipp Pattberg, William H. Schaedla, Hamish van der Ven, Oscar Widerberg

    • Hardcover $90.00 £70.00
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  • Governing Complex Systems

    Governing Complex Systems

    Social Capital for the Anthropocene

    Oran R. Young

    An exploration of the need for innovative mechanisms of governance in an era when human actions are major drivers of environmental change.

    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. In this book, Oran Young argues that to achieve sustainable outcomes in a world of complex systems, we will need governance systems that are simultaneously durable enough to be effective in guiding behavior and agile enough to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. 

    While some insights from past research on governance remain valid in this setting, Young argues that we need new social capital to supplement mainstream regulatory approaches that feature rule making with an emphasis on compliance and enforcement. He explores the uses of goal setting as a governance strategy, the idea of principled governance, and the role of what is often called good governance in meeting the challenges of the Anthropocene. Drawing on his long experience operating on the science/policy frontier, Young calls for more effective collaboration between analysts and practitioners in creating and implementing governance systems capable of producing sustainable outcomes in a world of complex systems.

    • Hardcover $90.00 £70.00
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  • Dirty Gold

    Dirty Gold

    How Activism Transformed the Jewelry Industry

    Michael John Bloomfield

    The response from the jewelry industry to a campaign for ethically sourced gold as a case study in the power of business in global environmental politics.

    Gold mining can be a dirty business. It creates immense amounts of toxic materials that are difficult to dispose of. Mines are often developed without community consent, and working conditions for miners can be poor. Income from gold has funded wars. And consumers buy wedding rings and gold chains not knowing about any of this. In Dirty Gold, Michael Bloomfield shows what happened when Earthworks, a small Washington-based NGO, launched a campaign for ethically sourced gold in the consumer jewelry market, targeting Tiffany and other major firms. The unfolding of the campaign and its effect on the jewelry industry offer a lesson in the growing influence of business in global environmental politics.

    Earthworks planned a “shame” campaign, aimed at the companies' brands and reputations, betting that firms like Tiffany would not want to be associated with pollution, violence, and exploitation. As it happened, Tiffany contacted Earthworks before they could launch the campaign; the company was already looking for partners in finding ethically sourced gold.

    Bloomfield examines the responses of three companies to “No Dirty Gold” activism: Tiffany, Wal-Mart, and Brilliant Earth, a small company selling ethical jewelry. He finds they offer a case study in how firms respond to activist pressure and what happens when businesses participate in such private governance schemes as the “Golden Rules” and the “Conflict-Free Gold Standard.” Taking a firm-level view, Bloomfield examines the different opportunities for and constraints on corporate political mobilization within the industry.

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  • New Earth Politics

    New Earth Politics

    Essays from the Anthropocene

    Simon Nicholson and Sikina Jinnah

    Prominent scholars and practitioners consider the role of global environmental politics in the face of increasing environmental stress.

    Humanity's collective impact on the Earth is vast. The rate and scale of human-driven environmental destruction is quickly outstripping our political and social capacities for managing it. We are in effect creating an Earth 2.0 on which the human signature is everywhere, a “new earth” in desperate need of humane and insightful guidance. In this volume, prominent scholars and practitioners in the field of global environmental politics consider the ecological and political realities of life on the new earth, and probe the field's deepest and most enduring questions at a time of increasing environmental stress. Arranged in complementary pairs, the essays in this volume include reflections on environmental pedagogy, analysis of new geopolitical realities, reflections on the power of social movements and international institutions, and calls for more compelling narratives to promote environmental action.

    At the heart of the volume is sustained attention to the role of traditional scholarly activities in a world confronting environmental disaster. Some contributors make the case that it is the scholar's role to provide activists with the necessary knowledge and tools; others argue for more direct engagement and political action. All the contributors confront the overriding question: What is the best use of their individual and combined energies, given the dire environmental reality?

    Contributors Erik Assadourian, Frank Biermann, Wil Burns, Ken Conca, Peter Dauvergne, Daniel Deudney, Navroz Dubash, Richard Falk, Joyeeta Gupta, Maria Ivanova, Peter Jacques, Sikina Jinnah, Karen T. Litfin, Michael F. Maniates, Elizabeth Mendenhall, Simon Nicholson, Kate O'Neill, Judith Shapiro, Paul Wapner, Oran R. Young

    • Hardcover $19.75 £14.99
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  • Power in a Warming World

    Power in a Warming World

    The New Global Politics of Climate Change and the Remaking of Environmental Inequality

    David Ciplet, J. Timmons Roberts, and Mizan R. Khan

    An examination of shifting global power dynamics in climate change politics, and how this affects our ability to achieve equitable and sustainable climate outcomes.

    After nearly a quarter century of international negotiations on climate change, we stand at a crossroads. A new set of agreements is likely to fail to prevent the global climate's destabilization. Islands and coastlines face inundation, and widespread drought, flooding, and famine are expected to worsen in the poorest and most vulnerable countries. How did we arrive at an entirely inequitable and scientifically inadequate international response to climate change?

    In Power in a Warming World, David Ciplet, J. Timmons Roberts, and Mizan Khan, bring decades of combined experience as negotiators, researchers, and activists to bear on this urgent question. Combining rich empirical description with a political economic view of power relations, they document the struggles of states and social groups most vulnerable to a changing climate and describe the emergence of new political coalitions that take climate politics beyond a simple North-South divide. They offer six future scenarios in which power relations continue to shift as the world warms. A focus on incremental market-based reform, they argue, has proven insufficient for challenging the enduring power of fossil fuel interests, and will continue to be inadequate without a bolder, more inclusive and aggressive response.

    • Hardcover $60.00 £44.95
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  • European Climate Leadership in Question

    European Climate Leadership in Question

    Policies toward China and India

    Diarmuid Torney

    An analysis of the European Union's engagement with China and India on climate change policy that sheds light on Europe's claim to international climate leadership.

    The European Union has long portrayed itself as an international leader on climate change. In this book, the first systematic assessment of Europe's claim to climate leadership, Diarmuid Torney analyzes the EU's engagement with China and India on climate policies from 1990 to the present.

    Torney develops an analytical framework for assessing EU climate leadership that charts the factors driving the EU's engagement with China and India, the form of the engagement, and the Chinese and Indian response. He argues that EU engagement was driven by a desire to build its international role, growing concern regarding climate impacts, and an interest in the economic opportunities provided by the transition to a low-carbon global economy. European engagement with China and India took the form of institutionalized dialogue and capacity-building, with more extensive contact with China than with India. He finds little evidence of coherence between the EU's external climate change policies and other policy areas. Indeed, the overriding priority in both relationships was the deepening of trade.

    Torney shows that China responded to the EU with limited normative emulation and lesson drawing; India's principal response was resistance. He argues that both European leadership on climate change and Chinese and Indian “followership” were severely constrained by a variety of factors, including the nature and extent of the EU's capabilities and the domestic politics, normative frames, and material interests of China and India, which did not align with the EU's agenda.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
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  • Consensus and Global Environmental Governance

    Consensus and Global Environmental Governance

    Deliberative Democracy in Nature's Regime

    Walter F. Baber and Robert V. Bartlett

    An examination of the potential and limitations of deliberative consensus as a way to achieve effective international environmental governance.

    In this book, Walter Baber and Robert Bartlett explore the practical and conceptual implications of a new approach to international environmental governance. Their proposed approach, juristic democracy, emphasizes the role of the citizen rather than the nation-state as the source of legitimacy in international environmental law; it is rooted in local knowledge and grounded in democratic deliberation and consensus. The aim is to construct a global jurisprudence based on collective will formation. Building on concepts presented in their previous book, the award-winning Global Democracy and Sustainable Jurisprudence, Baber and Bartlett examine in detail the challenges that consensus poses for a system of juristic democracy.

    Baber and Bartlett analyze the implications of deliberative consensus for rule-bounded behavior, for the accomplishment of basic governance tasks, and for diversity in a politically divided and culturally plural world. They assess social science findings about the potential of small-group citizen panels to contribute to rationalized consensus, drawing on the extensive research conducted on the use of juries in courts of law. Finally, they analyze the place of juristic democracy in a future “consensually federal” system for earth system governance.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
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  • Post-Treaty Politics

    Post-Treaty Politics

    Secretariat Influence in Global Environmental Governance

    Sikina Jinnah

    An argument that secretariats—the administrative arms of international treaties—are political actors in their own right.

    Secretariats—the administrative arms of international treaties—-would seem simply to do the bidding of member states. And yet, Sikina Jinnah argues in Post-Treaty Politics, secretariats can play an important role in world politics. On paper, secretariats collect information, communicate with state actors, and coordinate diplomatic activity. In practice, they do much more. As Jinnah shows, they can influence the allocation of resources, structures of interstate cooperation, and the power relationships between states.

    Jinnah examines secretariat influence through the lens of overlap management in environmental governance—how secretariats help to manage the dense interplay of issues, rules, and norms between international treaty regimes. Through four case studies, she shows that secretariats can draw on their unique networks and expertise to handle the challenges of overlap management, emerging as political actors in their own right.

    After presenting a theory and analytical framework for analyzing secretariat influence, Jinnah examines secretariat influence on overlap management within the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), two cases of overlap management in the World Trade Organization, as well as a case in which the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) secretariat failed to influence political outcomes despite its efforts to manage overlap. Jinnah argues that, even when modest, secretariat influence matters because it can establish a path-dependent dynamic that continues to guide state behavior even after secretariat influence has waned.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
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  • Transparency in Global Environmental Governance

    Transparency in Global Environmental Governance

    Critical Perspectives

    Aarti Gupta and Michael Mason

    A critical assessment of whether transparency is a broadly transformative force in global environmental governance or plays a more limited role.

    Transparency—openness, secured through greater availability of information—is increasingly seen as part of the solution to a complex array of economic, political, and ethical problems in an interconnected world. The “transparency turn” in global environmental governance in particular is seen in a range of international agreements, voluntary disclosure initiatives, and public-private partnerships. This is the first book to investigate whether transparency in global environmental governance is in fact a broadly transformative force or plays a more limited, instrumental role.

    After three conceptual, context-setting chapters, the book examines ten specific and diverse instances of “governance by disclosure.” These include state-led mandatory disclosure initiatives that rely on such tools as prior informed consent and monitoring, measuring, reporting and verification; and private (or private-public), largely voluntary efforts that include such corporate transparency initiatives as the Carbon Disclosure Project and such certification schemes as the Forest Stewardship Council. The cases, which focus on issue areas including climate change, biodiversity, biotechnology, natural resource exploitation, and chemicals, demonstrate that although transparency is ubiquitous, its effects are limited and often specific to particular contexts. The book explores in what circumstances transparency can offer the possibility of a new emancipatory politics in global environmental governance.

    • Hardcover $69.00 £54.00
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  • Disaggregating International Regimes

    Disaggregating International Regimes

    A New Approach to Evaluation and Comparison

    Olav Schram Stokke

    A methodology for evaluating and comparing the effectiveness of international regimes is developed and applied to a successful example of such a regime.

    Evaluating the effectiveness of international regimes presents challenges that are both general and specific. What are the best methodologies for assessment within a governance area and do they enable comparison across areas? In this book, Olav Schram Stokke connects the general to the specific, developing new tools for assessing international regime effectiveness and then applying them to a particular case, governance of the Barents Sea fisheries. Stokke's innovative disaggregate methodology makes cross-comparison possible by breaking down the problem and the relevant empirical evidence.

    Stokke employs fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis, and his approach is disaggregate in three ways: it separates the specific governance problem into its cognitional, regulatory, and behavioral components; it splits into three the counterfactual analysis of what the outcome would have been if the regime had not existed; and it decomposes the empirical evidence to maximize the number of observations. By applying this methodology to a regional resource regime known as one of the world's most successful, Stokke bridges the gap between the intensive case study analyses that have dominated the field and increasingly ambitious efforts to devise quantitative methods for examining the causal impacts of regimes. Stokke's analysis sheds light on the implementation and the interaction of international institutions, with policy implications of regime design and operation.

    • Hardcover $11.75 £9.99
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  • Institutional Dynamics

    Institutional Dynamics

    Emergent Patterns in International Environmental Governance

    Oran R. Young

    An analysis of patterns of change in international environmental regimes, with five case studies illustrating the patterns identified.

    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. Understanding the emergent patterns in environmental governance and how they affect regime effectiveness, he argues, is an important part of solving environmental problems. Young proposes a framework for analyzing patterns of institutional change based on the alignment of internal, endogenous factors—which include flexibility, monitoring procedures, and funding mechanisms—with such external, exogenous factors as the attributes of environmental problems, the political and economic contexts, and technological innovations.

    He offers five case studies of environmental regimes, governing environmental problems ranging from climate change to the protection of the Northern Fur Seal, each of which exemplifies one of the emergent patterns he has identified: progressive development, punctuated equilibrium, arrested development, diversion, and collapse.

    • Hardcover $48.00 £35.95
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  • Institutions and Environmental Change

    Institutions and Environmental Change

    Principal Findings, Applications, and Research Frontiers

    Oran R. Young, Leslie A. King, and Heike Schroeder

    This overview of recent research on how institutions matter in tackling environmental problems reports the findings and policy implications of a decade-long international research project.

    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.

    Individual chapters present research findings and examine policy implications regarding questions of causality, performance, and institutional design as well as the themes of institutional fit (or misfit), interplay, and scale. Institutions and Environmental Change is the product of a decade-long international research project on the Institutional Dimensions of Global Environmental Change (IDGEC) carried out under the auspices of the International Human Dimensions Programme. The book's policy insights demonstrate that research on institutions can provide the basis for practical advice on effective ways to deal with the most pressing environmental problems of our times.

    Contributors Frank Biermann, Carl Folke, Victor Galaz, Thomas Gehring, Joyeeta Gupta, Thomas Hahn, Leslie A. King, Ronald B. Mitchell, Sebastian Oberthür, Per Olsson, Heike Schroeder, Uno Svedin, Simon Tay, Arild Underdal, Oran R. Young

    • Hardcover $15.75 £13.95
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