Regulation Theory and Climate Change Policy

  • Andreas Missbach


This chapter analyzes the role of the United States in international climate policy from the theoretical viewpoint of French regulation theory. I have chosen regulation theory because this approach tries to capture the interconnectedness of state and economy, as well as the different levels of policy. The chapter begins with a short introduction to regulation theory, followed by a comparison of regulation theory and regime theory (the majority of authors who carry out research on international environmental policy use the regime analysis approach) in order to show the peculiarities of the regulation approach. Some general remarks on the dynamics of climate diplomacy are made. Then the position of the United States in this field is analyzed, and the degree of success in implementing U.S. climate change policy is discussed, using the Kyoto Protocol as an example. The significance of economic and domestic factors in shaping the U.S. position in international environmental policy is shown, highlighting two important actors: the Senate and industrial lobbies. In concluding remarks, a “regulationist” reformulation of the crisis of hegemony is used to synthesize the material presented in this chapter.


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© Paul G. Harris 2000

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  • Andreas Missbach

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