Research Project: Carbon Governance Arrangements and the Nation-State: The Reconfiguration of Public Authority (2015-2018)

Foto: Linda Wallbott

Due to the difficulties among nation-states in adopting effective means of implementation to cope with climate change, a plethora of new "governance experiments" has emerged in the past few years. Some of them are targeting activities or units which are contributing enormously to global carbon dioxide emissions, like deforestation or megacities.

So far, little systematic knowledge exists about how these governance arrangements work and what their impacts on the political-administrative systems are. Given these shortcomings, this research project sets out to explore how (and how far) different types of globally operating governance arrangements have caused changes in the distribution of public authority within nation-states.

We will focus on

(1)C40 as an example of Transnational City Networks (TCNs) that operates bottom-up
(2)REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) that operates top-down.

Research Questions and Hypotheses

We aspire to gain practical insights on the following questions, informing scholars, practitioners and policy-makers alike:

(1) How do the various new climate arrangements reconfigure public authority in developing countries?
(2) What are the consequences of the reconfiguration of public authority in terms of actual policy outcomes?

The hypotheses that guide our research are that in the in the field of environmental policy-making

(1) The top-down governance arrangement (REDD+) generates a trend towards more centralized decision-making while
(2) the bottom-up governance arrangement (TCNs/C40) strengthens decentralization efforts.

Case Studies

We will conduct field research in the following countries:
India, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia

Project Documents

Carbon Governance Arrangements (Project Proposal)

Project flyer (PDF 373KB)

Fuhr et al. (2016) Carbon Governance Arrangements and the Nation-State:
  The Reconfiguration of Public Authority in Developing Countries (PDF 180KB)
  Paper presented at the Berlin Conference on Global Environmental Change 2016, 23.-24.5.2016

Fuhr et al. (2016) Carbon Governance Arrangements and the Nation-State (PDF 667KB)
  Poster presented at the 2nd German Future Earth Summit, 28.-29.1.2016


Höhne, Chris, Harald Fuhr, Thomas Hickmann, Markus Lederer, and Fee Stehle (2018): 'REDD+ and the Reconfiguration of Public Authority in the Forest Sector: A Comparative Case Study of Indonesia and Brazil', in Nuesiri, Emmanuel O. (ed.): 'Global Forest Governance and Climate Change: Interrogating Representation, Participation, and Decentralization', Palgrave Studies in Natural Resource Management, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 203-241.

Hickmann, Thomas, Harald Fuhr, Chris Höhne, Markus Lederer, and Fee Stehle (2017): 'Carbon Governance Arrangements and the Nation‐State: The Reconfiguration of Public Authority in Developing Countries', in: Public Adminstration and Development 37 (5), pp. 331–343.

Fuhr, Harald, Thomas Hickmann, Chris Höhne, Markus Lederer, and Fee Stehle: 'How Global Climate Governance Initiatives Reconfigure Public Authority in Developing Countries', in: Dolšak, Nives and Aseem Prakash (eds.): 'Climate Change and Public Administration: A Blog Commentary Symposium', Public Administration Review's Speak Your Mind, available at



•   Prof. Dr. Harald Fuhr
•   Prof. Dr. Markus Lederer
•   Dr. Thomas Hickmann
•   Fee Stehle (MA)
•   Chris Höhne (MA)
•   Matthias Edelmann (BA)


Institut für Politikwissenschaft
Technische Universität Darmstadt

Landwehrstraße 48a-50
D-64293 Darmstadt

Dolivostraße 15
D-64293 Darmstadt

Geschäftsführender Direktor
Prof. Dr. Michèle Knodt

apl. Prof. Dr. Björn Egner

So finden Sie uns:
Das Institut liegt zwischen dem Darmstädter Hauptbahnhof und der Stadtmitte. Die Buslinien K und K 56 verkehren regelmäßig zwischen dem Hauptbahnhof und der Ausstiegshaltestelle"Kasinostraße". Abfahrtszeiten finden Sie auf "Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund".

Funded by German Research Foundation (DFG)


In cooperation with

Chair of International Politics
University of Potsdam

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