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IP 4 (Phase II): Civil society - government interactions in global governance

The project focuses on how civil society groups (NGOs and business groups) and government representatives interact in the context of global environmental policy making. There are two ways they may benefit from cooperation with each other:

  • Governments may directly gain from the expertise of civil society groups concerning the effects of environmental policies or meeting legal environmental commitments;
  • Both groups may mutually increase their bargaining power by supporting each other's demands.

Given that the media can become an important source of leverage by civil society groups and national governments, the project also analyzes the role the mass media plays as an instrument of public mobilization on both sides.

Regarding the challenges to democracy, the relevance of the project is twofold:

  • It examines how globalization has an effect on civil society groups' mobilization at the global level;
  • It explores the states' monopoly of power to regulate at both national and international levels.

The project also aims to propose ways and means to make national governments more accountable for policy outcomes at the international level, and to strengthen the legitimacy of both governments and civil society actors.

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Project leaders:
Prof. Thomas Bernauer, ETH Zurich
Prof. Vally Koubi, University of Bern

Postdoctoral researcher:
Tobias Böhmelt, ETH Zurich

Doctoral student:
Carola Betzold, ETH Zurich