Assessing International Cooperation on Climate Change: A Neoliberal Analysis of the Effectiveness of Formal International Environmental Institutions

Jeremiah Collins


This article examines the efficacy of formal international institutions in fostering international cooperation on climate change. It criticizes realist assertions that institutions are of marginal importance in the Hobbesian self-help world of international politics, and maintains that existing institutional frameworks have facilitated progress on climate change in numerous ways. Despite this progress, however, the article concludes that it has been suboptimal in terms of what is actually needed to prevent dangerous anthropogenic warming of the earth's climate, and that further empirical study of these formal institutions is necessary in order to improve climate outcomes through rational institutional design.


politics, environment, climate change

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