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Transnational Public-Private Partnerships as Learning Facilitators: The Case of Global Governance on Mercury

Governance
Institutions
International Relations
Knowledge
Global
Negotiation
Qualitative
Yixian Sun
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Yixian Sun
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
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Abstract

The paper examines transnational Public-Private Partnerships’ (PPPs) impacts on the formation of intergovernmental regimes in order to fill a gap in the scholarship of environmental governance. Drawn from theories of institutional interaction and social learning, I construct a theoretical framework inferring that transnational PPPs can contribute to regime formation by providing useful knowledge to facilitate policymakers’ learning. My empirical study uses data from various sources (e.g. UNEP documents, Earth Negotiations Bulletin, and elite interviews), and relies on qualitative methods including process-tracing, content analysis, and counterfactuals, to analyze the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership’s (GMP) influence in the negotiation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The findings show that, through technical and scientific information based on expertise of participants in the UNEP GMP, this partnership played a critical role in negotiations of several issues by not only accelerating consensus-making processes, but also changing the nature of agreements in the convention.