Edited by Jon C. Lovett and David G. Ockwell
Chapter 7: Theoretical Perspectives on International Environmental Regime Effectiveness: A Case Study of the Mediterranean Action Plan
Sofia Frantzi1 Introduction Many modern environmental problems are not occasional random events that suddenly arise, but are rather the result of long-term processes requiring effective management through time instead of instant solutions. Their causes and effects are complex issues, strongly interlinked with other aspects of social, political and economic realities. When these problems are of a transboundary, or global nature, then their management must be attempted through regional (bilateral or multilateral) or international agreements. Traditionally the focus of academic research has been on issues associated with the challenge of achieving international cooperation, in other words on regime formation, but recently there has been an increasing interest in implementation issues, that is, regime effectiveness. This chapter aims to discuss the concept of effectiveness of international environmental agreements as debated within the academic literature. In the first section the major theoretical perspectives on international relations are presented as the context for understanding different explanations given to international cooperation. Different approaches to defining and measuring effectiveness of the agreements are then described in more detail. In the second section there is specific reference to a particular example of an environmental agreement. The Mediterranean Action Plan was chosen for this purpose since it has not been studied extensively and in addition its effectiveness is ambiguous according to different viewpoints. Finally in the last section, a new definition of effectiveness is given, drawing insights from the aforementioned literature, suggesting that for a regime to be effective it has to use a holistic approach, to have...
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