a set of causal beliefs and a set of preferences for action (Haas, 1990). A final stream of research stresses the importance of the international context in providing windows of opportunity for agreements that are blocked at other times by resistances in one country or another.

Research Needs Knowledge is limited on several aspects of international agreement that are particularly relevant to problems of response to global change. One is the effectiveness of institutional arrangements, that is, the factors determining how strongly a regime affects the behavior of those subject to its provisions. Effectiveness is partly a function of implementation which, as at the national level, often leads to outcomes quite different from what a reading of the initial agreement would lead one to expect (Pressman and Wildavsky, 1984). It also depends on the degree to which arrangements are structured so that those subject to the regime comply voluntarily and do not have to be continually monitored and coerced. Finally, it depends on the ability of a regime to persist even after the constellation of interests that gave rise to it has changed or disappeared (Krasner, 1989).

Another area for new research concerns preparatory negotiations, aimed at reaching a common conceptualization of environmental problems. Many international issues that require cooperation are not ripe for negotiation because the issues have not yet been defined in a way suitable for bargaining (e.g., Stein, 1989; Saunders, 1989). This certainly seems to be the case for complex environmental issues, such as would be raised in drafting a comprehensive law of the atmosphere on the model of the law of the sea. National representatives would need first to identify packages of policies they might use to comply and assess the costs of those packages in terms of their interests. The process would be much more complex than establishing limited regimes to deal with ozone depletion or acid rain or establishing a series of regional regimes combined with agreements between regional groups.

A third area concerns the problems of regime formation when the participants are deeply divided. Many global environmental problems involve north-south confrontations in which the wealthy, industrialized states want to limit environmental changes but developing countries see limits as threats to their development. Examples include conflict between the desire to limit carbon dioxide emissions and energy needs in China and India, and between the desire to protect global biodiversity and plans for the use of forests in Brazil and Indonesia. Much needs to be learned,

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement