This article sheds light on the design of the global climate change regime by drawing lessons from the literature produced by international cooperation, international institutions and other international regimes in diverse issue areas. It is argued that sound policy implications for the design of a global climate change regime require a solid understanding of how (in what ways and under what conditions) international instruments influence national governments and domestic policies. While scholars and policy-makers alike often look towards strong and powerful international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization for design inspiration, the majority of international institutions are those that in fact lack enforcement power. Despite these shortcomings, many of these international institutions often influence national policies in a variety of indirect but effective ways. At the heart of these indirect mechanisms is the mobilization of domestic action. Utilizing and further empowering stakeholders (decentralized and spreading over various levels) is thus the key. The indirect channels of institutional influence are particularly relevant to climate change and provide policy implications for the design of the global climate change regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)622-637
Number of pages16
JournalClimate Policy
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2010


  • Governance
  • Incentive mechanisms
  • International cooperation
  • International environmental law
  • International negotiations
  • Non-state actors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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