Edited by Theodore Eisenberg and Giovanni B. Ramello
Chapter 18: International environmental agreement effectiveness: A review of empirical studies
The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change drew fierce opposition, skepticism, and support from many nations and advocacy groups during its negotiation in 1997. Since then, passion for this protocol as well as international environmental agreements (IEAs) in general has only grown, but despite sustained political attention, the research community has not reached a consensus on the true impact of these agreements. Researchers from a range of academic fields have chosen to evaluate the effectiveness and design of IEAs. In doing so, a variety of quantitative analysis methods have been employed, often in competition. The following research summarizes and evaluates the current empirical literature in order to identify trends and facilitate further development. Despite a significant selection of theoretical papers, the empirical literature evaluating the effectiveness of implemented IEAs is sparse. Furthermore, most completed case studies focus on the Helsinki and Sofia Protocols and are limited to IEA impact in European countries. Our review details the models these studies use – methodology and data selection – in order to clarify the process and encourage new research. The tables and analysis enclosed should be particularly helpful for researchers aiming to empirically evaluate IEAs in the future.
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