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New Book: Disaggregating International Regimes

Olav Schram Stokke: Disaggregating International Regimes(10.10.2012) When and how are international regimes effective? In his new book with the prestigeous international publisher MIT Press, FNI Research Professor Olav Schram Stokke uses the Barents Sea fisheries as a case study in a new, theoretical approach to analysing international regime effectiveness.

Evaluating the effectiveness of international regimes presents challenges that are both general and specific. What are the best methodologies for assessment within a governance area and do they enable comparison across areas?

In this book, Olav Schram Stokke connects the general to the specific, developing new tools for assessing international regime effectiveness and then applying them to a particular case: governance of the Barents Sea fisheries. Stokke’s innovative disaggregate methodology makes cross-comparison possible by breaking down the problem and the relevant empirical evidence.

Olav Schram StokkeStokke employs fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis, and his approach is disaggregate in three ways:
   It separates the specific governance problem into its cognitional, regulatory, and behavioral components.
   It splits into three the counterfactual analysis of what the outcome would have been if the regime had not existed.
   It decomposes the empirical evidence to maximize the number of observations.

By applying this methodology to a regional resource regime known as one of the world’s most successful, Stokke bridges the gap between the intensive case study analyses that have dominated the field and increasingly ambitious efforts to devise quantitative methods for examining the causal impacts of regimes.

Stokke’s analysis sheds light on the implementation and the interaction of international institutions, with policy implications of regime design and operation.


More information

About the book

> See MIT Press' website

Citation: Olav Schram Stokke, Disaggregating International Regimes: A New Approach to Evaluation and Comparison . Cambridge (USA), MIT Press, 2012, 360 p. ISBN 978-0-262-51784-3.

About the author

Olav Schram Stokke is a Research Professor at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, where he specializes in institutional analysis, international resource and environmental management, and regional cooperation.


Charles Ragin, University of Arizona, US:
'A central problem of our time is fostering the sustainable co-evolution of natural and socio-economic systems. Because this problem is global in scope, international regimes must play a key role. When and how are international regimes effective? Olav Schram Stokke answers this difficult question in Disaggregating International Regimes. His analysis is incisive, innovative, and insightful, triangulating process tracing, configurational comparative analysis, and statistical inference. He offers a dramatic analytic breakthrough in his demonstration of how to use counterfactual analysis to assess regime effectiveness, providing an important template for future research.'

Thomas Gehring, Otto-Friedrich University Bamberg, Germany:
‘This book is well researched and presents a fresh approach to the analysis of regime effectiveness. It emphasizes that to be effective, an international regime does not only require appropriate regulation and ensuing behavioral changes of relevant actors, but also a reliable cognitive foundation. It blends theoretical analysis with an interesting study of the Barents Sea fisheries regime. I highly recommend it to those concerned with the methodological and theoretical aspects of regime effectiveness research and to those interested in a highly topical cooperation project in the conflict-ridden Arctic area.’

Ronald B. Mitchell, University of Oregon, US:
‘Olav Schram Stokke makes major contributions to our understanding of international institutions. Perhaps Stokke’s most important contribution is theoretical, helping us think more clearly about the fact that international institutions perform distinct cognitive, regulatory, and behavioral functions and that a complete understanding of international institutions requires that we think about these separately.’

Sebastian Oberthür, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium:
‘All those who thought there was nothing much to be added to the existing research on regime evolution and effectiveness will be compelled by this book to change their minds. Olav Schram Stokke provides a fresh and most systematic approach to disaggregating regime effectiveness that will no doubt take a central place in any collection on the subject.'
 The Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) is an independent foundation engaged in research on international environmental, energy, and resource management politics.
The Institute maintains a multi-disciplinary approach, with main emphasis on political science, economics, and international law.

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