EME 504
Foundations in Sustainability Systems

11.2 Multi-level and Multi-polar Fragmentation

Fragmentation of environmental governance occurs in two axes.

  • On the vertical axis, fragmentation occurs at the supra-national, international, national, and sub-national, regional, and local levels.
  • On the horizontal axis, fragmentation occurs between parallel policy-making bodies.

Communication among policy-making organizations at every level as well as global standards are needed in order to mitigate the lack of uniformity in policy, support compliance. Networks of experts can work with policy makers to create the foundations for broadly applicable standards.

Class Discussion Forum 11:

Select an environmental problem with social/economic ramifications. I suggest you to use the same problem that you will analyze as part of your Case Study 2.

  1. Using the descriptions of the different groups of actors provided by Biermann and Pattberg (2008), identify all actors playing a role in the environmental problem that you have selected and create a flow chart where the potential relationships among these actors are established. The vertical direction of your flow chart must be structured from the local to the supra-national scale. What are the actors with similar spheres of influence (this should be your horizontal axis)? How should they interact with each other?
  2. Based on your flow chart, assign levels of responsibility to each of the actors in your flow chart.
  3. Add mechanisms of oversights and actors responsible for each level of oversight to your flow chart.
  4. Revise the initial set of relationships created in part 1 in this assignment.
  5. Briefly state how to minimize fragmentation along both axes.