Managers of Global Change: The Influence of International Environmental Bureaucracies

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Frank Biermann, Bernd Siebenhüner
MIT Press, 2009 - Political Science - 367 pages
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International bureaucracies--highly visible, far-reaching actors of global governancein 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 scholarlyattention has been given to their actual influence in recent years. Managers of Global Change fillsthis gap, offering conceptual analysis and case studies of the role and relevance of internationalbureaucracies in the area of environmental governance--one of the most institutionally dynamic areasof world politics. The book seeks to resolve a puzzling disparity: although most internationalbureaucracies 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 actualinfluence vary greatly. The chapters investigate the type and degree of influence that internationalenvironmental bureaucracies exert and whether external or internal factors account for variations.After a discussion of theoretical context, research design, and empirical methodology, the bookpresents nine in-depth case studies of bureaucracies ranging from the environment department of theWorld Bank to the United Nations' climate and desertification secretariats. Managers of GlobalChange points the way to a better understanding of the role of international bureaucracies, whichcould improve the legitimacy of global decision making and resolve policy debates about the reformof the United Nations and other bodies.

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Contents

Setting the Stage
1
Taking Stock
15
A Conceptual Framework
37
The Art of Persuasion and Its Limitations
75
Making the Business Case for the Environment
101
A Tanker for Tankers
143
Tangled Up in Blue
169
From Network to Bureaucracy
203
The Good Shepherd of Ozone Politics
225
Making a Living in a Straitjacket
245
Lean Shark in Troubled Waters
265
A Castle Made of Sand
293
Findings from the MANUS Research Program
319
Contributors
351
Index
355
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Frank Biermann is Professor of Political Science and Environmental Policy Sciences and Head of the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis at the Institute for Environmental Studies, Free University, Amsterdam. Bernd Siebenhüner is Professor of Ecological Economics and Head of the GELENA research group on social learning and sustainability at the Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg, Germany.

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