Rethinking Justice in International Environmental Negotiations: Toward a More Comprehensive Framework

in International Negotiation
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Justice is of central importance in international environmental negotiations. Key characteristics of this type of negotiation augment the complexities of justice issues and warrant a customized approach. Based on a discussion of these characteristics, the article derives four components that are central to a more comprehensive theoretical framework for analyzing justice in environmental negotiations: 1) going beyond narrow self-interest, 2) extending the notion of reciprocity, 3) linking backward- and forward-orientation, and 4) connecting process and outcome. The usefulness of the framework is illustrated by applying it to two important Conferences of the Parties (COP) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – COP15 in Copenhagen and COP21 in Paris – which are compared. The framework is suited for a systematic analysis of the complex role played by justice issues in international environmental negotiation, as a key avenue for addressing global threats emerging from anthropogenic environmental change.

Rethinking Justice in International Environmental Negotiations: Toward a More Comprehensive Framework

in International Negotiation



AlbinCecilia (2001). Justice and Fairness in International Negotiation. New York: Cambridge University Press.

AlbinCecilia (2015). “The Many Faces of Justice in International Negotiations.” International Negotiation 20: 1.4158.

AlbinCecilia and Daniel Druckman (2012). “Equality Matters: Negotiating an End to Civil Wars.” The Journal of Conflict Resolution 562: 155182.

AlbinCecilia and Daniel Druckman (2014a). “Bargaining over Weapons: Justice and Effectiveness in Arms Control Negotiations.” International Negotiation 193: 426458.

AlbinCecilia and Daniel Druckman (2014b). “Procedures Matter: Justice and Effectiveness in International Trade Negotiations.” European Journal of International Relations 204: 10141042.

AlbinCecilia and Daniel Druckman (2017). “Negotiating Effectively: Justice in International Environmental Negotiations.” Group Decision and Negotiation 261: 93111.

AxelrodRobert (1984). The Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Basic Books.

BarryBrian (1989). Democracy Power and Justice. Oxford: Claredon Press.

BarryBrian (1995). Justice as Impartiality. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

BenedickRichard Elliot (1998). Ozone Diplomacy: New Directions in Safeguarding the Planet. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Bentz-HölzlJanine and Manfred Brocker (2011). “Climate Change and Global Justice,” in Elisabeth Kals and Jürgen Maes editors Justice and Conflicts. Berlin: Springer.

BernsteinAlyssa R. (2015). “Climate Change and Justice: A Non-Welfarist Treaty Negotiation Framework.” Ethics Policy and Environment 18:2.123145.

BiesR.J. (2005). “Are Procedural Justice and Interactional Justice Conceptually Distinct?,” in J Greenberg and R Cropanzo editors Handbook of Organizational Justice. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

BodanskyDaniel (2010). “The Copenhagen Climate Change Conference: A Postmortem.” The American Journal of International Law 1042: 230240.

BrickKerri and Martine Visser (2015). “What is Fair? An Experimental Guide to Climate Negotiations.” European Economic Review 74: 7995.

BuchananAllen and Robert O. Keohane (2006). “The Legitimacy of Global Governance Institutions.” Ethics and International Affair 204: 405437.

ChasekPamela S. (2001). Earth Negotiations: Analyzing Thirty Years of Environmental Diplomacy. New York: United Nations University Press.

ChristoffPeter (2016). “The Promissory Note: COP 21 and the Paris Climate Agreement/” Environmental Politics 255: 765787.

CookKaren S. and Karen A. Hegtvedt (1983). “Distributive Justice, Equity, and Equality.” Annual Review of Sociology 9: 217241.

CorneloupInés de Águeda and Arthur P.J. Mol (2013). “Small Island Developing States and International Climate Change Negotiations: The Power of Moral ‘Leadership.’” International Environmental Agreements: Politics Law and Economics 143: 281297.

DepledgeJoanna (2005). The Organization of Global Negotiations: Constructing the Climate Change Regime. Sterling, VA: Earthscan.

DeutschMorton (1975). “Equity, Equality, and Need: What Determines Which Value Will Be Used as the Basis of Distributive Justice?” Journal of Social Issues 313: 137149.

DimitrovRadoslav S. (2010a). “Inside Copenhagen: The State of Climate Governance.” Global Environmental Politics 102: 1824.

DimitrovRadoslav S. (2010b). “Inside UN Climate Change Negotiations: The Copenhagen Conference.” Review of Policy Research 276: 795821.

DowerNigel (2004). “Global Economy, Justice and Sustainability.” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 74: 399415.

DruckmanDaniel and Lynn M. Wagner (2016). “Justice and Negotiation.” Annual Review of Psychology 671: 387413.

EckhoffTorstein Einang (1974). Justice: Its Determinants in Social Interaction. Rotterdam: Rotterdam University Press.

FaureGuy Olivier and Jeffrey Z. Rubin (1993). “Organizing Concepts and Questions,” in Gunnar Sjöstedt editor International Environmental Negotiations. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.

FehrErnst and Klaus M. Schmidt (1999). “A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 1143: 817868.

FisherRoger and William Ury (1991). Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. New York: Penguin Books.

GauthierDavid (1986). Morals by Agreement. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

GrassoMarco (2010). “The Role of Justice in the North–South Conflict in Climate Change: The Case of Negotiations on the Adaptation Fund.” International Environmental Agreements: Politics Law and Economics 114: 361377.

HurlbertMargot A. (2011). “Evaluating Climate Justice – Attitudes and Opinions of Individual Stakeholders in the United Nations Framework Climate Change Convention Conference of the Parties.” Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences 84: 267286.

HurrellAndrew and Benedict Kingsbury (1992). “The International Politics of the Environment: An Introduction,” in Andrew Hurrell and Benedict Kingsbury editors The International Politics of the Environment. Oxford: Claredon Press.

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) (2009). “Summary of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference,” Earth Negotiations Bulletin 12: 459.

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) (2015). “Summary of the Paris Climate Change Conference: 29 November–13 December 2015.” Earth Negotiations Bulletin 12: 663.

JanuschHolger (2016). “The Breakdown of International Negotiations: Social Conflicts, Audience Costs, and Reputation in Two-level Games.” International Negotiation 213: 495520.

KapsteinEthan B. (2008). “Fairness Considerations in World Politics: Lessons from International Trade Negotiations.” Political Science Quarterly 1232: 229245.

KaulInge and R.U. Mendoza (2003). “Advancing the Concept of Public Goods,” in Inge KaulPedro Conceicao and Katell Le Goulven editors Providing Global Public Goods: Managing Globalization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

LangeAndreasCarsten Vogt and Andreas Ziegler (2007). “On the Importance of Equity in International Climate Policy: An Empirical Analysis,” Energy Economics 293: 545562.

LangeAndreasAndreas LöschelCarsten Vogt and Andreas Ziegler (2010). “On the Self-Interested Use of Equity in International Climate Negotiations.” European Economic Review 543: 359375.

LindE. Allan and P. Christopher Earley (1992). “Procedural Justice and Culture.” International Journal of Psychology 272: 227242.

MeilstrupPer (2010). “The Runaway Summit: The Background Story of the Danish Presidency of COP15, the UN Climate Change Conference,” in Nanna Hvidt and Hans Mouritzen editors Danish Foreign Policy Yearbook 2010. Copenhagen: Danish Institute for International Studies.

MüllerMarkus M. (2011). “Justice as a Framework for the Solution of Environmental Conflicts,” in Elisabeth Kals and Jürgen Maes editors Justice and Conflicts. Berlin: Springer.

MüllerHarald and Daniel Druckman (2014). “Introduction: Justice in Security Negotiations.” International Negotiation 193: 399409.

NiliShmuel (2016). “Liberal Global Justice and Social Science.” Review of International Studies 421: 136155.

PageEdward A. (2008). “Distributing the Burdens of Climate Change.” Environmental Politics 174: 556575.

PageEdward A. (2012). “The Hidden Costs of Carbon Commodification: Emissions Trading, Political Legitimacy and Procedural Justice.” Democratization 195: 932950.

PutnamRobert D. (1988). “Diplomacy and Domestic Politics: The Logic of Two-Level Games.” International Organization 423: 427460.

RawlsJohn (1971). A Theory of Justice. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

RawlsJohn (1999). A Theory of Justice. Revised Edition. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

RhodesChristopher J. (2016). “The 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference: COP21.” Science Progress 991: 97104.

RietigKatharina (2014). “Reinforcement of Multilevel Governance Dynamics: Creating Momentum for Increasing Ambitions in International Climate Negotiations.” International Environmental Agreements: Politics Law and Economics 144: 371389.

RingiusLasseAsbjørn Torvanger and Arild Underdal (2002). “Burden Sharing and Fairness Principles in International Climate Policy.” International Environmental Agreements 21: 122.

ScanlonThomas (1982). “Contractualism and Utilitarianism,” in Amartya Sen and Bernard Williams editors Utilitarianism and Beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

ShawRoderick W. (1993). “Acid-Rain Negotiations in North America and Europe: A Study in Contrast,” in Gunnar Sjöstedt editor International Environmental Negotiations. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.

ShueHenry (1993). “The Unavoidability of Justice,” in Andrew Hurrell and Benedict Kingsbury editors International Environmental Negotiations. Oxford: Claredon Press.

ShueHenry (2014). Climate Justice: Vulnerability and Protection. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

SjöstedtGunnar (1993). “Special and Typical Attributes of International Environmental Negotiations,” in Gunnar SjöstedtUno Svedin and Britt Hägerhäll Aniansson editors International Environmental Negotiations: Process Issues and Contexts. Stockholm: Swedish Council for Planning and Coordination of Research, FRN.

SjöstedtGunnar (2009). “Negotiating Climate Change,” in Rudolf Avenhaus and Gunnar Sjöstedt editors Negotiated Risks: International Talks on Hazardous Issues. Berlin: Springer.

SmithJ.B.H.J. Schellnhuber and M.M.Q. Mirza (2001). “Vulnerability to Climate Change and Reasons for Concern: A Synthesis” in J.J. McCarthy O.F. Canziani N.A. Leary D.J. Dokken and K.S. White editors Climate Change 2001: Impacts Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmnetal Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

SpectorBertram I. (1992). International Environmental Negotiations: Insights for Practice. Laxenburg: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

StothardMichael and Anne Sylvaine Chassany (2015). “COP 21: Laurent Fabius Lauded for Successful Conclusion.” The Financial TimesDec 13.

SymeGeoffrey J. (2011). “Justice and Environmental Decision Making,” in Elisabeth Kals and Jürgen Maes editors Justice and Conflicts. Berlin: Springer.

ThibautJohn W. and Laurens Walker (1975). Procedural Justice: A Psychological Analysis. Hillsdale, NJ: L. Erlbaum Associates.

TörnblomKjellVermuntRiël (2007). Distributive and Procedural Justice: Research and Social Implications. Abingdon: Ashgate Publishing Group.

UNFCCC (2009). “Copenhagen Accord.”

UNFCCC (2016). “Paris Agreement.”

United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (1992). “Convention on Biological Diversity.”

Van den BosKees (2005). “What is Responsible for the Fair Process Effect?,” in J. Greenberg and J.A. Colquitt editors Handbook of Organizational Justice: Fundamental Questions about Fairness in the Workplace. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Van den BosKeesRiël Vermunt and Henk A.M. Wilke (1997). “Procedural and Distributive Justice: What is Fair Depends More on What Comes First than on What Comes Next.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 721: 95104.

WagnerLynn and Daniel Druckman (2017). “Drivers of Durable Peace: The Role of Justice in Negotiating Civil War Termination.” Group Decision and Negotiation 261: 4567.

WalkerLaurensE. Allan Lind and John Thibaut (1979). “The Relation between Procedural and Distributive Justice.” Virginia Law Review 658: 14011420.

WeissEdith Brown (2008). “Climate Change, Intergenerational Equity, and International Law.” Vermont Journal of Environmental Law 9: 628.

WelchDavid A. (1993). Justice and the Genesis of War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

WelchDavid A. (2014). “The Justice Motive in International Relations: Past, Present, and Future.” International Negotiation 193: 410425.

WolfAmanda. (1997). Quotas in International Environmental Agreements. London: Earthscan.

YoungH. Peyton and Amanda Wolf (1992). “Global Warming Negotiations: Does Fairness Matter?” The Brookings Review 102: 4651.

ZartmanI. William (1992). “International Environmental Negotiation: Challenges for Analysis and Practice.” Negotiation Journal 82: 113123.

ZartmanI. William (1995). “The Role of Justice in Global Security Negotiations.” American Behavioral Scientist 386: 889903.

ZartmanI. William (1997). “Conflict and Order: Justice in Negotiation.” International Political Science Review 182: 121138.

ZartmanI. William (2005). “Looking Forward and Looking Backward on Negotiation Theory,” in I. William Zartman and Victor Kremenyuk editors Peace versus Justice: Negotiating Forward- and Backward-Looking Outcomes. New York: Rowman and Littlefield.

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 25 25 24
Full Text Views 10 10 10
PDF Downloads 1 1 1
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0