Shapers, Brokers and Doers The Dynamic Roles of Non-State Actors in Global Climate Change Governance
Abstract: Non-state actors, such as international environmental organisations, business associations and indigenous peoples organisations, increasingly take on governance functions that can influence the delivery of global public goods. This thesis examines the roles of these actors in the field of global climate change governance. Specifically, the thesis examines why and how non-state actors are involved in global climate change governance, the governance activities that they may perform and are perceived to perform, and their views on climate change solutions. The thesis also discusses the implications of their roles for how authority is shared between states and non-state actors in global climate change governance. The research questions are addressed by triangulating several empirical methods. The results show that the roles of non-state actors are continuously evolving and depend on the changing nature of relations between state and non-state actors as well as efforts by non-state actors to expand their policy space by justifying and seeking recognition for their participation. Moreover, the findings point to the importance of differentiating between groups of non-state actors, as they represent diverse interests and have different comparative advantages across governance activities. Which non-state actors participate and to what extent therefore has implications for the effects of their involvement in global climate change governance. On the basis of a systematic assessment of a set of non-state actors, this thesis concludes that the key role-categories of non-state actors in global climate change governance are broadly: shapers of information and ideas, brokers of knowledge, norms and initiatives, and doers of implementing policies and influencing behaviours. Different non-state actors carry out activities within these role-categories to different extents. In addition to the empirical mapping of the roles of non-state actors in global climate change governance, this thesis contributes to two strands in the literature: one theoretical focusing on the authority and legitimacy of non-state actors in global environmental governance, and the other methodological, offering a toolbox that combines survey data with qualitative methods.
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