The Role of Norms in Enhancing Legitimacy of International Climate Agreements
Sammanfattning: This master’s thesis deals with international climate agreements and their legitimacy, using the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol as examples. The thesis examines sociological legitimacy as a possible reason for implementation deficiencies of international climate agreements. Sociological legitimacy of an international agreement, as defined by Bernstein (2005), is hinged on a normative consensus among the international community adopting the agreement in question. In order to determine the degree of sociological legitimacy in the illustrative cases, a critical discourse analysis is employed as a method to identify and sort the explicit and implicit norms of the agreements according to various and contrasting sustainability discourses. This analysis allows for an assessment of the internal consistency of the norms in each case, ultimately leading to conclusions about the extent to which sociological legitimacy is present or not. The results show that neither of the two cases portray an internally consistent application of norms, and therefore lack sociological legitimacy. Further research into the sustainability norms in a given nation or society is needed for determining the external sociological legitimacy of both agreements, thus providing a final conclusion.
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