University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Author: Vladimir Obradovic; [2018-10-31]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: Environmental risks are one of the top three threats to human population, according to WorldEconomic Forum. It is known that human activities are important contributor to environmental disasters, and for decades policy makers have tried to address this problem. One of the instruments for protecting the environment are international agreements. Their number at the beginning (1960s) was around ten per year, on the peak (1990’s) – about thirty a year, and for year 2016 it reached lowest number of six. It seems that policy makers are losing faith in their effectiveness. The aim of this thesis is to answer the question whether international environmental agreements are an effective policy instrument in hands of the international community for protecting the environment. The identified gap in the literature is that perception of main concepts is one-sided and that there is a lack of comprehensive quantitative research on this topic. The thesis developes a new theoretical argument explaining why countries comply with obligations of the environmental agreements they signed, even though there is a lack of central enforcement mechanism. The argument is tested empirically with the data on 166 countries and 666 agreements. The hypothesis that higher number of environmental agreements leads to higher performance is accepted in this case.

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