Katie Harvey

Corporate Pressure Makes Regime Diamonds: An Analysis of the Impact of Multinational Corporations on International Environmental Regime Effectiveness

April 3, 2021   /  

Name: Katie Harvey
Major: Global and International Studies
Minor: Environmental Studies
Advisors: Dr. John Valdez, Dr. Matt Krain

Despite the tendency for multinational corporations to overexploit natural resources and pollute the Earth, the immense power of capital in a globalizing world has presented a unique opportunity for corporations to become drivers of positive global environmental change, particularly in the realm of global climate governance. To make sense of this puzzle, this study asks how does an international environmental regime’s relationship to the economic marketplace impact its institutional and ecological effectiveness?Through a comparative case study, this project analyzes the historical context, market interactions, and outcomes of four distinct instances of global environmental governance: the stratospheric ozone regime, the climate change regime, the global oceanic regime, and the biodiversity regime.By using indicators from both traditional and contemporary political regime theory literature, each regime is coded as market-enabling or regulatory and its effectiveness is evaluated. These narratives indicate that both market-enabling regimes and regulatory regimes alike may face pushback from state and corporate actors that compromises the regime’s institutional and ecological effectiveness. However, the oppositional stance of corporations may change when the cost of defecting from regime provisions exceeds the cost of compliance. Market-enabling features, coupled with relevant technological advancements, legal enforcement mechanisms, and a concentrated regime structure, establish conditions under which corporations may choose to abide by environmental regime provisions.

Katie will be online to field comments on April 16:
8am-noon EDT