IES Research Projects

Coping with institutional complexity: the European Union's external policy on genetic resources

The project is concerned with the specific impact of the EU’s “multi-level governance” – structure on the formation of EU policy towards the regime complex for genetic resources. Specifically, the question shall be asked whether the EU displays a high level of strategic agency, or whether its behavior tends towards incoherence and eclecticism. The fragmentation of the European polity could, on the one hand, make a strategic approach towards the regulation genetic resources difficult to achieve. On the other hand, other policy fields show that unified and strategic European external action is not an impossibility. The project shall also make use of the concepts of “forum shopping” and “interaction management” to analyze, how interactions between the basal regimes in the regime complex for genetic resources become modified by EU external action. That is, once the rationale for explaining external action in this field is discerned (strategic vs. eclectic agency), it shall be seen what the resulting consequences for the overall dynamic of the regime complex are.