Political Economy of International Environmental Agreements

J.C. Altamirano-Cabrera, L. Wangler, H.P. Weikard, S. Kroll

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

1 Citation (Scopus)


International environmental agreements (IEAs) are treaties negotiated, signed, and ratified by individual nation-states to address transboundary environmental issues. This article provides an overview of the recent state of the art in the domain of the political economy of the formation of IEAs. Central to this survey is the question how the political process impacts different stages of agreement formation and ultimately the stability of the agreement. Of particular relevance are the rules defined during prenegotiations that govern the negotiation process, ratification, and implementation. Strategic delegation and lobbying are directly relevant during the negotiation and ratification phases. What matters for implementation is the choice of policy instruments at the national level, which are impacted by lobbying and, hence, indirectly influence negotiations. Theoretical analyses of IEAs have mainly employed game-theoretic models to study the incentives of countries to sign and ratify agreements. Models of the political processes leading to an agreement have only emerged recently. Empirical results, including results from experimental work, complement theoretical approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Energy, Natural Resource, and Environmental Economics. Vol. 3 Environment
EditorsJ.F. Shogren
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780080964522
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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