Strengthening the transnational regime complex for climate change

Kenneth Abbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


The inadequacies of the inter-state institutions and negotiating processes central to international climate policy create a pressing need for governance innovation. This article proposes one promising and feasible approach: strengthening the existing transnational regime complex for climate change. Leading organizations could strengthen the regime complex by forging stronger links among institutions, increasing coordination and collaboration, supporting weaker institutions and encouraging the entry of new ones where governance gaps exist. An enhanced regime complex would have a multilevel structure, enabling transnational institutions to bypass recalcitrant national governments by directly engaging sub-state and societal actors at multiple levels of authority and scale. It would also help to manage recalcitrant states by mobilizing advocacy, demonstration effects and other pressures on governments. Regime entrepreneurs, using the strategy of orchestration, could deploy a range of incentives and other tools of influence to enrol, support and steer transnational organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-88
Number of pages32
JournalTransnational Environmental Law
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Climate Change
  • Multilevel Governance
  • Orchestration
  • Polycentric Order
  • Regime Complex
  • Transnational Governance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Law


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