Project ESR 7: Emerging Powers and the Changing Character of Global Governance

Much existing work on regional powers and the global order examines the policies of emerging powers such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa towards formal international organizations – for example, China and the UN, India and the WTO. This approach, however, overlooks a crucial way in which governance and institutionalization is changing, namely, the existence in many issue areas of multiple, partially overlapping regimes, groupings and institutions. This is captured in the academic literature by notions of regime complexity, regime fragmentation, and institutional pluralism.
The doctoral student appointed will examine how regime complexity in a chosen issue area (for example, the global environment or nuclear proliferation) is impacting the policies of one or more emerging powers regarding the governance of that issue, and how this, in turn, can lead to less conflictive policies towards existing international institutions. Even if states withdraw from a particular regime, this might not necessarily imply a refusal to participate in general governance of the respective issue if other actors such as the EU make creative use of the fact of multiple regimes.

University of Oxford