Global Environmental Governance: Taking Stock and Moving Forward

F. Biermann, P.H. Pattberg

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article provides a focused review of the current literature on global environmental governance. In the first part, we differentiate between three usages of the term "global environmental governance, " which we describe as analytical, programmatic, and critical. In the second part, we highlight three key characteristics of global environmental governance that make it different, in our view, from traditional international environmental politics: first, the emergence of new types of agency and of actors in addition to national governments, the traditional core actors in international environmental politics; second, the emergence of new mechanisms and institutions of global environmental governance that go beyond traditional forms of state-led, treaty-based regimes; and third, increasing segmentation and fragmentation of the overall governance system across levels and functional spheres. In the last section, we present an outlook on future study needs in this field. ©2008 by Annual Reviews.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-294
JournalAnnual Review of Environment and Resources
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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