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Institutional Roots of International Alliances: Party Groupings and Position Similarity at Global Climate Negotiations

Genovese, Federica and McAlexander, Richard and Urpelainen, Johannes (2022) 'Institutional Roots of International Alliances: Party Groupings and Position Similarity at Global Climate Negotiations.' Review of International Organizations. ISSN 1559-7431

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A large literature in international relations explores the domestic origin of national positions at international organizations (IOs). Less researched is the institutional assembling within IOs, and how alliances formed around negotiation groups affect countries’ positions. We explore this question in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), focusing on the role that institutional coalitions have on members’ statement similarity. Our baseline expectation is that similar economic development is the main determinant of coalition-building, so more common preferences emerge among members of economically similar negotiation groups. At the same time, and in line with other institutionalist views, we hold that some coalitions reflect alternative cross-cutting dimensions of interdependence and that this may increase the position similarity of their members. In the case of climate cooperation, we suggest that a high level of shared environmental vulnerability in a group may also cluster countries’ positions. We interrogate our expectations with new text-as-data measures that estimate associations of countries’ statements at the UNFCCC between 2010 and 2016. We find that states in more economically homogenous negotiation blocs share more similar national statements. Additionally, similar themes emerge among more vulnerable countries, although these are only amplified in small and uniform negotiation groups. Our evidence has implications for global cooperation based on a North–South dialogue and for the effectiveness of institutionalized coalitions at international organizations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Climate change politics; United Nations; Institutions; Negotiation groups; Coalitions; Text analysis
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 05 May 2022 10:43
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 09:51

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