Ratification of Multilateral Environmental Agreements: Civil Society Access to International Institutions

Koubi, Vally; Mohrenberg, Steffen; Bernauer, Thomas (2021). Ratification of Multilateral Environmental Agreements: Civil Society Access to International Institutions. Journal of civil society, 16(4), pp. 351-371. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/17448689.2020.1859227

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The stage in which countries formally decide on whether to participate in (i.e., ratify)
international agreements is crucial to global governance efforts. The reason is that, by and large, international agreements with greater participation are more likely to contribute to effective problem solving. We study the role procedural design characteristics of agreements play in such decisions. Specifically, we examine whether treaties’ provisions allowing non-state actors to participate in treaty making, which is widely regarded as an important procedural aspect of governance, increases the likelihood of ratification. Our empirical testing relies on a new timeseries-cross-sectional dataset that includes information on the ratification behavior of 154 countries with respect to 178 multilateral environmental agreements in 1950–2011. We find that treaty provisions allowing for greater non-state actor access to the meetings of the parties indeed increase the likelihood of treaty ratification. The result is robust to controlling for the effects of various other treaty design characteristics and country characteristics on ratification behavior. The main policy implication is that, despite occasional debate over drawbacks of involvement of non-state actors, the latter tends to support global environmental governance efforts and should be further enhanced.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Economics

UniBE Contributor:

Koubi, Vally


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics




Taylor & Francis




Dino Collalti

Date Deposited:

14 Jan 2021 14:35

Last Modified:

31 Jan 2021 02:58

Publisher DOI:




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