The four authors of this edited volume focus on a key issue in the literature on multilateral negotiations for addressing the problem of climate change: the formation and action of the coalitions of countries participating in the Conferences of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This issue is particularly important because countries tend to participate in these negotiations in groups rather than individually. Although large countries sometimes participate on their own, they usually also join some of these groups. Furthermore, these negotiations are particularly complex as they not only involve approximately 200 countries but also cover a broad agenda of items that are often politically sensitive, highly technical, and partly overlapping. Climate negotiations are also long-term negotiations with regular, repeated interactions. One unique feature about these negotiations is that decisions are made by consensus rather than majority voting.
The authors, focusing mainly on coalitions of developing countries, attempt to answer the following questions: “[u]nder which conditions do the benefits of coalition formation outweigh its costs? When do states create, or join, coalitions? Which coalitions are more successful, and why?” (p. 3)
Like all coalitions, those analyzed in the volume attempt to reduce the complexity of multilateral negotiations and increase members’ negotiating capacity and the bargaining power of participating states by allowing them to pool resources and information…
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